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Korean Fair Trade Commission completes investigation into Intel

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.

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RE: coerced
By theapparition on 9/12/2007 10:32:30 AM , Rating: 2
Then they were lying to you. When a resturant wants to offer soda, the equipment is given to them for free, but on a contract basis. Meaning, they can only buy supplies from that said vendor. Also, there are discounts offered to become an "exclusive provider". With that in mind, there is absolutely no incentive to have 2 fountain drink machines, since most customers will accept the similar offering, and it saves the resturant money, time, and space.
Where the Intel accusations differ (since providing special pricing to exclusive merchants is not illegal), is that Intel withheld shipments to "punish" those who didn't comply. That would be analagous to Coke delaying shipments to a 7-11, because they refused to stop selling Pepsi.

I'm not taking sides on the issue, just repeating the claim. I still think the burden of proof (in the US) will be that "unfair" practices have hurt the consumer.

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