Federal Trade Commission launches Intel antitrust probe

In the wake of its $25 million antitrust fine from the South Korean Fair Trade Commission, Intel has now come under the eye of U.S. antitrust authorities. The New York Times quotes officials and lawyers as saying the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has launched an antitrust investigation into the semiconductor giant's activities.

The paper says new FTC chairman William E. Kovacic kicked off the probe with the backing of other commissioners, and that the FTC has already subpoenaed AMD as well as "several of the world's largest [PC] makers." The commission will investigate accusations that "Intel's pricing policies have been designed to maintain a near-monopoly on the microprocessor market."

Intel remains in trouble in the European Union over the same issues, too. The European Commission issued a statement of objections last year accusing the company of abusing its dominant position to lock AMD out of the x86 CPU market, and the NYT says EU regulators may now "expand their statement of objections."

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