Intel May Have a New Deal With the FTC


Intel (INTC) reportedly has reached a preliminary settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over allegations involving its sales and marketing practices, according to a Reuters report.

The chip giant and FTC staff apparently reached a tentative settlement that will not require Intel to pay a monetary fine. The preliminary settlement, however, would regulate Intel's volume discounts which involve its microprocessor and graphics chips. In addition, the proposed settlement would also extend changes in Intel's November settlement with arch rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), which late last year reached a $1.25 billion settlement with Intel over similar antitrust allegations.

Last December, the FTC filed a new lawsuit against Intel over allegations that the chip giant tried to use its monopoly to stifle competition by offering steep discounts to customers who would limit or exclude the use of AMD's chips. Although the agency can issue fines for violating previous settlement agreements, in this particular case no such plans are envisioned, according to the report.

The FTC's five-member commission will make the ultimate decision as to whether a case will go forward or not. Last month, Intel signaled to Wall Street that a settlement with the FTC was in the works, when the chip giant and regulatory agency asked the courts to suspend an administrative law judge hearing that was slated to begin on Sept. 15.