Digital-Intel Settlement Appears in Regulatory Jeopardy

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has major antitrust reservations about the October settlement of patent infringement suits between Intel Corp. and Digital Equipment Corp., according to a report published this week.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has major antitrust reservations about the October settlement of patent infringement suits between Intel Corp. and Digital Equipment Corp., according to a report published this week.

The FTC may argue that the settlement would limit competition to Intel's Pentium chip, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

Digital and Intel had filed suits against each other last year over chip technology patents and nondisclosure agreements. Part of the October settlement included the sale of Digital's 64-bit Alpha semiconductor manufacturing facility to Intel and the further intertwining of the companies' microprocessor technologies. Just this week, Digital and Intel spelled out the details of the port of Digital's Unix operating system to Intel's IA-64 microprocessor, code-named Merced.

The FTC's investigation is not likely to be completed until later this year, the report in the Los Angeles Times said.

Digital, in Maynard, Massachusetts, can be reached at +1-978-493-5111 and at http://www.digital.com/. Intel, in Santa Clara, California, can be reached at +1-408-987-8080 and at http://www.intel.com/.

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