Along with looking into online privacy regulation, providing guidelines for blogger endorsements and getting tough on robocallers, the Federal Trade Commission has officially joined the fray surrounding Intel's allegedly anticompetitive behavior that began with New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
The New York Times reports the FTC filed a complaint alleging that Intel has engaged in "a systematic campaign to prevent rivals from selling their microchips by cutting off their access to the market." The commission argues that such activity violates section five of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which prohibits unfair or deceptive trade practices.
In a statement, the commission said:the charges encompass a pattern of activity spanning the past decade. Specifically:
Intel carried out its anticompetitive campaign using threats and rewards aimed at the world's largest computer manufacturers, including Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM, to coerce them not to buy rival computer CPU chips. Intel also used this practice, known as exclusive or restrictive dealing, to prevent computer makers from marketing any machines with non-Intel computer chips.
Intel also allegedly configured compilers to "stunt the performance" of competitors' chips.
An administrative law judge is expected to hear the case in September 2010.