Intel and the Federal Trade Commission have settled their antitrust suit.
Under terms of the deal, Intel will be prohibited from:
- Offering benefits to computer makers in exchange for promises to buy Intel chips exclusively or cutting out others.
- Retaliating if a PC maker goes with another chip maker.
Intel is also required to do the following:
- Modify its intellectual property agreements with AMD, Nvidia and Via so they can merge without being sued for patent infringement.
- Extend Via's licensing agreement for five years beyond the current deal that ends in 2013.
- Maintain the PCI Express Bus interface for at least six years so it won't harm graphics competitors.
- Disclose when Intel compilers discriminate between Intel chips and non-Intel chips.
The FTC, which sued Intel in December 2009, said:
By accepting this settlement, we open the door to competition today and address Intel’s anticompetitive conduct in a way that may not have been available in a final judgment years from now. Everyone, including Intel, gets a greater degree of certainty about the rules of the road going forward, which allows all the companies in this dynamic industry to move ahead and build better, more innovative products.
The settlement enables us to put an end to the expense and distraction of the FTC litigation.