Oak Trail will ship sans PCIe  (Source: UMPC Portal)
Oak Trail can ship until 2013 without PCIe

Intel is the largest computer chip maker in the world and like other market leaders, Intel has found itself hit with antitrust suits and other legal action stemming from some of its business practices. The biggest was the suit brought against Intel by the FTC over practices that made it difficult for AMD, VIA, and NVIDIA to compete.

The FTC hit Intel with an antitrust suit in 2009 alleging that the company used rebates, bribes, and outright threats to get computer makers to not use AMD processors in their computers and used similar tactics in the graphics and other markets. Intel still staunchly denies that it used anticompetitive tactics in its marketing, but that denial didn’t prevent the FTC and Intel from coming to an agreement and banning Intel from anticompetitive practices in August of 2010.

The FTC has announced that it is modifying the terms of the settlement between it and Intel. The modified terms of the settlement will allow Intel to launch its Oak Trail platform aimed at portable devices like tablets, thin notebooks, and netbooks. The terms of the settlement with the FTC stated that Intel has to include the PCI Express interface in upcoming platforms as a way to allow competing companies to interface without fearing that performance was degraded.

The agreement for PCIe interfaces in Intel platforms was reached in August and the FTC changed that agreement this week to allow Oak Trail to ship until June of 2013 without the PCIe interface onboard. The change was allowed by the FTC because the Oak Trail chips were in construction before the agreement was reached. However, all future generations of its products after June 2013 will be required to have PCIe.

The FTC did reject some claims for parties in the case against Intel reports 
eWeek. The rejected claims included one by VIA and ARM that argued the settlement between Intel and the FTC was not punitive enough. The FTC also refused a request by ARM to extend the order against anticompetitive practices outside the x86 market to cover chips in smartphones.

The FTC wasn't alone in the claim of anticompetitive practices against Intel. The chipmaker is fighting a massive $1.45 billion fine levied by the European Commission. 

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