Intel is being sued in the United States for breaking federal and New York state antitrust laws.
The New York attorney general, Andrew Cuomo, announced on Wednesday that he had filed the suit, charging that "Intel violated state and federal anti-monopoly laws by engaging in a worldwide, systematic campaign of illegal conduct — revealed in e-mails — in order to maintain its monopoly power and prices in the market for microprocessors".
The details of Intel's alleged infractions closely mirror those breaches for which the European Commission fined Intel €1bn in May. Both cases involve or involved illegal practices designed to persuade PC makers to use Intel rather than AMD chipsets.
"Over the last several years, Intel has extracted exclusive agreements from large computer makers in which they agreed to use Intel's microprocessors in exchange for payments totaling billions of dollars. Intel also threatened to and did in fact punish computer makers that they perceived to be working too closely with Intel's competitors," Cuomo said in his statement.
However, Intel's alleged retaliatory threats, as detailed by Cuomo, included not only "cutting off payments the computer maker was receiving from Intel", but also "directly funding a computer maker's competitors and ending joint development ventures" — neither of which was a factor in the Commission's case.
According to Cuomo: "The suit, which was filed today in federal court, seeks to bar further anticompetitive acts by Intel, restore lost competition, recover monetary damages suffered by New York governmental entities and consumers, and collect penalties."
Computer manufacturers named in the suit include Dell, HP and IBM — all bar the last were involved in the Commission's case.
The new suit follows almost two years of evidence-gathering — according to Wednesday's statement, the Attorney General's office has reviewed millions of pages of documents and e-mails and took testimony from several dozen witnesses".
Apart from the US and EU cases, Intel was also found guilty of antitrust and fined accordingly by South Korea in 2008.
UPDATE: According to News.com, Intel disagrees with Cuomo's charges.