Legal Briefing: How Far Will Intel Go to Settle FTC Lawsuit?


A daily look at legal news and the business of law:

Is Intel Conceding Enough to the FTC?

Intel (INTC) has been sued a few times for monopolistic behavior in the chip market. It has had to pay $1.25 billion to Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), a $1.45 billion fine to the European Union, and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's suit is still pending. In December, the Federal Trade Commission sued Intel too, but unlike the others, the FTC isn't seeking monetary damages or penalties: It wants Intel to change how it does business. The trial was scheduled for this September, but settlement negotiations announced Monday may obviate the need for that.

The kernel of the negotiations is a proposed consent decree that Intel's lawyers submitted to the commission. As The Wall Street Journal reports, the key factor in whether or not the commission accepts the decree will be how drastically Intel has offered to change its business practices. Some of the commission's initial demands -- that Intel license its technology to competitors on terms dictated by the FTC and restructure the rebates it pays customers -- were flatly rejected by Intel in December. The terms of the proposed consent decree are secret, so it's impossible to know if Intel's position has changed. The Journal suggests that if Intel has not volunteered to make real changes to its business, it won't be enough to satisfy the FTC and call off the suit.

Proceedings have been delayed until July 23 while the FTC and Intel talk.

BP Hires Ex-DOJ No. 2 to Fight DOJ Probe

Facing a criminal probe from the Department of Justice, BP has lawyered up with a former U.S. deputy attorney general, Mark Filip, now of Kirkland & Ellis. Beyond the tactical advantages BP (BP) gains by hiring him, The Wall Street Journal reports he's a dynamite lawyer.

And in the Business of Law...

• The National Law Journal has announced its annual "Winning" list of successful litigators. Scrutinizing big victories in hostile jurisdictions in the past 18 months, backed up by a history of victories, the magazine chose nine men and two women as winners. Listed alphabetically, they are: David Beck of Beck Redden & Secrest; David Doyle of Morrison & Foerster; Thomas Green of Sidley Austin; Norman M. Hirsch of Jenner & Block; Richard Marmaro of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; Jerry McDevitt of K&L Gates; Tracy Miner of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo; Michael Morris of Costello, Shea & Gaffney; Mark Topel of Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman; Charles Verhoeven of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan; and Beth Wilkinson of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.

• The ABA Journal reports that a certain not-yet lawyer -- a 3L -- isn't sure what he'll do with his law degree, now that he's a poker champion. He doesn't like the 9-to-5 aspect of the law, you see. Of course, I don't know many lawyers who work 9 to 5...

Dechert picked up a three-partner group from Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobsen, according to the Blog of the Legal Times. The three lawyers practice financial transactions, and include the former chair of that department for Fried, Frank.

Originally published