FTC takes more time for Intel talks

Associated Press / July 22, 2010

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WASHINGTON — Federal regulators will take at least two more weeks to work out a proposed agreement with Intel Corp. to settle charges that the chipmaker violated antitrust laws.

The Federal Trade Commission said it needs more time to consider and negotiate the proposed settlement, which was first announced last month.

The FTC brought antitrust charges against Intel late last year, accusing it of using illegal sales tactics to preserve its dominant share of the market for computer chips. The agency alleges that the company strong-armed computer makers into exclusive deals, manipulated technical data to make its chips look more powerful than those from competitors, and blocked rivals from making their chips work with Intel’s. That behavior has crippled rivals and kept prices for computer chips artificially high, the FTC says.

The case has been on hold for a month while the two sides have tried to hammer out an agreement. That suspension had been set to end at midnight tonight, but will now run through midnight Aug. 5.