The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has started a new investigation into Intel?s commercial affairs, and has requested information from the chip giant and other companies.
The news follows the acquisition of Chips and Technologies earlier this year and is likely to include Intel?s acquisition of Dayna yesterday.
But there was no indication of whether it was prompted to act because Digital Equipment, which has an outstanding legal battle with Intel over chip patents, asked it to do so. Some sources hinted recently that Digital was pressing for such action.
The fresh investigation against Intel is expected to look at whether the company acts monopolistically - a charge that was made against it previously in 1993, but on that occasion it was cleared after the FTC probe.
An Intel representative said: ?The current investigation will come to a similar conclusion. We do believe we?re in compliance with the laws.? She said that Intel had an inhouse team, including lawyers, which ensured that Intel crossed no monopolistic laws in any country that had them.
She added that Intel made sure that it did not have a dominant share in any of its markets, and also looked closely at other issues, including licensing.
When Intel bought Chips for nearly $400 million, the federal authorities indicated they would look into the deal. Not only is Intel the predominant player in microprocessors, but it has also made significant inroads into the networking market over the past 18 months.
Meanwhile, Intel continues to contest suits brought against it by former employees who have banded together to form the Face Intel site.
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