The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has subpoenaed Digital and AMD as part of its monopoly investigation into Intel, prompting observers to speculate that the FTC is reacting to Intel?s legal battle with Digital.
Digital refused to discuss details of the FTC?s move but CEO Robert Palmer has criticised Intel for using its monopoly power to draw attention away from the issues in the patent infringement battle between the companies.
Some analysts allege that Digital may have supplied the FTC with information about Intel?s market position but others say Intel?s dominance could lead any number of competitors to report it to the FTC, including National Semiconductor/Cyrix, AMD and Samsung.
Intel said on Thursday that it has ensured its business practices comply with federal laws and lawyers are employed by many of its divisions. Intel also said it would cooperate in full with the FTC.
Analysts concluded that it is unlikely Intel will fall foul of the FTC as the authority has not taken any action after previous investigations of the chip giant. They agreed it has the size and money to deal with the investigation without being distracted from its business and the legal expertise to make it difficult for investigators to prove it has monopoly power in any sector.
A few observers said the FTC?s latest move was linked to its investigation of Intel?s proposed takeover of Chips and Technologies but has been extended to become a more general probe.
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