Today Korea’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) announced that its investigation into Intel is complete. The original investigation began two years ago after allegations that Intel misused its market dominant position in South Korea to pressure manufacturers to not use processors from its rivals.
“The FTC gained some evidence backing up suspicions that Intel has offered discounts to computer makers in exchange for sealing exclusive deals, and coerced dealers not to buy products from rivals such as Advanced Micro Devices” according FTC official in an interview with Korea Times.
With the investigation now closed, any potential sanctions or fines will be determined by an internal deliberation committee of the Korean FTC. If Intel is sanctioned it will be the second American company to face a penalty imposed by South Korea after Microsoft was fined $35 million USD as a result of bundling software with its Windows operating system.
The panel expects to reach a decision on any sanctions against Intel by October. Chuck Mulloy, Intel spokesperson, told the DailyTech he could not discuss allegations against the company or divulge contents of the statement because the statement of objection submitted by the Korean FTC is still sealed.
Mulloy issued a statement to DailyTech, stating, “We're hopeful that we'll be able to show the commission that the microprocessor market is functioning normally and that this is an extremely competitive market and that our conduct has been pro-competition and beneficial to consumers.”
However, sources close to the investigation told DailyTech that AMD was not listed as a formal complaint party in Korea, but that AMD had filed general complaints against Intel in the past.