Intel wants FTC to specify market threatened in antitrust case

Intel wants the US Federal Trade Commission to clarify which market it claims the chip giant is monopolising and acting anti-competitively in so it can prepare its defense, according to an Intel spokesman. Intel has asked an administrative law judge to require the FTC to 'provide a more definite statement identifying the market we're alleged to possess dangerously high market share (in) and where we're threatening its competition.'

Intel wants the US Federal Trade Commission to clarify which market it claims the chip giant is monopolising and acting anti-competitively in so it can prepare its defense, according to an Intel spokesman.

Intel has asked an administrative law judge to require the FTC to "provide a more definite statement identifying the market we're alleged to possess dangerously high market share (in) and where we're threatening its competition," Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy said.

The FTC issued an antitrust complaint against Intel earlier this month alleging that it withheld vital technology information from three vendors, which it characterised as competitors, after they tried to enforce chip patents they hold against Intel or against firms that buy Intel chips. The lawsuit also alleges that Intel is using its monopoly power to "cement its dominance over the microprocessor market."

Of the three vendors mentioned in the complaint, only Digital Equipment , now owned by Compaq, makes chips. The other two, Compaq and Intergraph , make computer systems, with Compaq offering personal computers, workstations and servers, and Intergraph specialising in high-end workstations.

"We maintain we compete in the microprocessor market," he said. "Our defense will be based upon how they define the market" being monopolised and threatened.

Intel has maintained it has a right to withhold information from companies with which it is involved in patent and other legal disputes.

An FTC spokeswoman said the agency had no comment on Intel's filing.

A spokesman for Intergraph, which has filed its own lawsuit against Intel alleging anticompetitive practices and patent infringement, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

A hearing on the FTC complaint is scheduled for July 10, according to Mulloy.

The FTC, based in Washington, D.C., can be reached at http://www.ftc.gov/. Intel, in Santa Clara, California, can be reached at http://www.intel.com/.

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