Intel faces antitrust probe

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Intel, the world’s largest microchip maker, had announced on Friday that it had received a civil subpoena from the Federal Trade Commission, which has been examining informally its pricing and sales rebates for more than a year.

This investigation follows the assault by regulators in Europe and Asia, and the subpoena sees Intel forced to comply with the investigation, while it wasn’t forced to comply before the subpoena was issued.

All three investigations are looking at the same issue: the practises it used to computer makes that have prevented AMD expanding its sales.

The South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission fined Intel for US$25 million after finding that it had violated antitrust laws in South Korea. In 2005, Japan found that Intel had violated antitrust laws, and Intel agreed to change its practises.

AMD is also pursuing a private antitrust lawsuit, which was filed in Delaware in 2005, but the trial date has been pushed back to 2010.

As well, it is understood that many PC makers received subpoenas last week.