Intel Corp.has filed its response to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's antitrust lawsuit, denying it has monopolized the market for microprocessors and saying its actions did not harm competition "in any relevant market."
"Intel has not monopolized any market, attempted to monopolize any market, or used any unfair methods of competition," the company said in its response.
In a point-by-point rebuttal of the FTC's claims, Intel also restated its position that it acted within the law when it denied confidential future product information to companies with which it was in legal disputes, and said the FTC has no cause to investigate its actions.
The FTC filed its antitrust complaint against Intel in early June, alleging Intel used its monopoly power in the market for microprocessors to cement its control over that market. Specifically, the FTC says Intel acted too heavy handedly when it refused to provide information and samples related to future microprocessor products to three companies after they sued the chip maker for alleged patent infringement.
In its filing today, Intel said the FTC does not have grounds to interfere in the disputes, which involved Compaq Computer Corp., Digital Equipment Corp. and Intergraph Corp.
"This is not an appropriate matter for action by the FTC," Intel said in its response. "The allegations in this matter arise out of intellectual property disputes between Intel and three other major high technology companies. . . . In none of these cases did Intel deny anyone a supply of microprocessors or any other product. Intel's actions did not and could not harm competition in any relevant market."
Reiterating a position it made after the FTC's lawsuit was filed, Intel said the steps it took against the three companies were reasonable and within the law, and designed to protect its intellectual property rights.
The disputes with Compaq and Digital were settled on "mutually agreeable terms" among the parties, Intel said in the filing today. The third dispute, with Intergraph, is currently in litigation in Alabama.
In its initial response to the FTC's lawsuit, Intel on June 19 asked the FTC to define more clearly the markets in which it claims Intel holds monopoly power, and in which it thinks Intel's actions threaten competition.
Two of the firms Intel denied product information to -- Compaq and Intergraph -- are primarily systems makers, Intel argued. Only Digital -- which is now part of Compaq -- sells microprocessors.
At a scheduling hearing Friday in Washington, D.C., U.S. Administrative Law Judge James P. Timony set a trial date of Jan. 5 for the lawsuit.