Intel has entered into a new comprehensive long-term patent cross license agreement with NVIDIA. The companies have also resolved pending litigation in Chancery Court in Wilmington, Del., ending all outstanding legal disputes between the companies.
The agreement ends the legal dispute between the companies, preserves patent peace and provides protections that allow for continued freedom in product design. It also enables the companies to focus their efforts on innovation and the development of new, innovative products.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has given final approval to the settlement between Intel and FTC announced on August 4th of 2010. As the company said when this agreement was first announced it provides a framework that will allow Intel to continue to compete and to provide customers with the best possible products at the best prices. The settlement also enables the company to put an end to the expense and distraction of the FTC litigation. The settlement agreement is not an admission that any law has been violated or that the allegations in the complaint are true.
Intel and five other companies (Adobe, Apple, Google, Intuit and Pixar) have entered into a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for alleged violations of Section 1 of the Sherman Act antitrust statute. The agreement is not an admission that the companies have violated the laws, nor is it an agreement that the DOJ's allegations regarding the underlying facts are true. This is a settlement agreement.
The principal allegations are that each of the companies entered into one or more unlawful bilateral agreements with another company prohibiting uninvited "cold calling" of each others' employees. Intel is alleged to have entered into one bilateral agreement with another company. According to the DOJ these agreements violate Section 1 of the Sherman Act. The settlement prohibits these kinds of agreements unless they are "reasonably necessary" in connection with a broader agreement -- for example a joint technical collaboration or merger or acquisition and in some circumstances, meet additional requirements specified in the consent decree.
Intel does not believe it violated the law and disagrees with the DOJ's allegations; however the company determined that agreeing to the consent decree would not harm the company or its ability to do business.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Intel have reached a settlement in the case the FTC brought against Intel December 16. Settlement talks were first made public when the two sides announced June 21 that they had agreed to halt preparations for trial. The agreement in the form of a consent decree lays out specific behaviors, practices and mechanisms that will govern Intel's sales conduct for the next ten years. The FTC sued Intel alleging the company violated Section 5 of the FTC Act. While Intel and the FTC have agreed to resolve that dispute, Intel is not admitting to any violation of the law nor does it agree with the allegations contained in the complaint.
The agreement has been accepted by the Commission for public comment and is a public document. Before it becomes final the agreement will be subject of a public comment period that will last 30 days.
This agreement provides a framework that will allow Intel to continue to compete and to provide customers with the best possible products at the best prices. The settlement enables Intel to put an end to the expense and distraction of the FTC litigation. The settlement agreement is not an admission that any law has been violated or that the allegations in the complaint are true.
- Press Release: Intel and U.S. Federal Trade Commission Reach Tentative Settlement
- FTC/Intel Settlement agreement (PDF 2.6MB)
- FTC Administrative Complaint (PDF 116KB)
- Intel Legal Response Filed with the FTC (PDF 165KB)
- ALJ Order Denying Admission of EC Decision (PDF 348KB)
The Special Master in the Intel antitrust class action lawsuits has issued a Report and Recommendation rejecting, on five independent grounds, the plaintiffs' motion to certify a nationwide class of individuals who purchased computers containing Intel microprocessors. Under the Court's rules, the Report and Recommendation will become the Court's ruling unless the plaintiffs object within 21 days.
The Special Master's Report and Recommendation comes more than four years after plaintiffs filed their Consolidated Complaint against Intel. That complaint generally accuses Intel of wrongfully offering discounts to computer manufacturers. The plaintiffs claim these discounts caused computer prices to be artificially inflated.
The Special Master's report is attached. Among other findings, Special Master Poppiti held that the class plaintiffs had failed to show that Intel's discounts had harmed consumers. Instead, his ruling notes, repeatedly, that computer manufacturers were free to use Intel's discounted prices as they saw fit, including passing those discounts onto their own customers. With respect to the plaintiffs' failure of proof on these issues, the Special Master ruled (at 41): "Plaintiffs cannot meet their burden with an expert's general statements about economic theory, and simply throw up their hands when record real-world facts fail to conform to economic theory."
More broadly, this Report and Recommendation demonstrates the truth of what Intel has said over the past five years, since these cases were first filed: Intel operates in a highly competitive industry; Intel's research and development have benefited consumers worldwide through lower prices and better products; and Intel has done nothing to harm consumers. Consumers, as well as computer manufacturers, have benefited from Intel's price discounts. When Intel's competitors offer lower prices, Intel responds with its own discounts that lower Intel's prices, just as any competitive company would.
Download the Special Master's Report (PDF 1MB)
SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 21, 2010 Lawyers for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Intel Corporation today filed a joint motion to suspend administrative trial proceedings while the parties consider potential settlement of the case originally filed by the FTC on Dec. 16, 2009. The motion opens a window through July 22, 2010, during which time the parties will review and discuss a proposed consent order. The terms of the proposed consent order are confidential and Intel will make no additional public comment on the matter at this time."
SANTA CLARA, Calif., December 16, 2009 Intel Corporation issued the following statement regarding the suit filed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC): "Intel has competed fairly and lawfully. Its actions have benefitted consumers. The highly competitive microprocessor industry, of which Intel is a key part, has kept innovation robust and prices declining at a faster rate than any other industry. The FTC's case is misguided. It is based largely on claims that the FTC added at the last minute and has not investigated. In addition, it is explicitly not based on existing law but is instead intended to make new rules for regulating business conduct. These new rules would harm consumers by reducing innovation and raising prices." Read more.
On November 12, 2009 Intel and AMD brought an end to all outstanding legal issues between the companies, including antitrust litigation and patent cross license disputes. The settlement involves several parts. AMD will drop its antitrust claims against Intel and withdraw the complaints it has made with regulators around the world. In return, Intel dropped its claims that AMD breached the 2001 patent cross-license with Intel when it spun out its manufacturing operations and created GlobalFoundries with the government of Abu Dhabi. Intel negotiated a separate deal with GlobalFoundries that allows them to manufacture product for AMD and still protects Intel's intellectual property.
The AMD antitrust case has been massive and it promised to become even more so as the date for trial came closer. The parties have exchanged more than 200 million pages of documents, conducted 2,200 hours of depositions and sent thousands of pages of expert reports to the court. Throughout this process, Intel did not waver in its conviction that Intel has operated within the bounds of the law. The company maintains it has competed fairly and legally.
While Intel and AMD have resolved our disagreements and AMD will withdraw pending complaints it has before regulators worldwide, there are other matters that Intel will continue to actively work to resolve.
- View the settlement agreement (PDF 1.3MB)
- View the press release
- View the transcript of Paul Otellini's Prepared Remarks on the Intel/AMD Settlement (PDF 59KB)
Intel has filed a motion in Delaware seeking sanctions against Advanced Micro Devices in the pending antitrust case. Intel asserts AMD failed to adequately retain documents in the case it filed against Intel in June of 2005. Intel also asserts that AMD misrepresented its efforts and tried to hide its failures from the Court and Intel.
In March of 2007 Intel disclosed to AMD and the Court that it had experienced lapses in document retention in this case. Following that disclosure Intel embarked on a court approved plan to remediate or correct the mistakes made in the discovery process. This effort has cost Intel tens of millions of dollars and Intel believes it has complied with the plan and successfully corrected the problem consistent with approved plan. As a result Intel delivered nearly two hundred million pages of documents to AMD.
(September 21, 2009) On May 13, the European Commission announced that Intel had violated competition laws in Europe. The EC, which serves as the investigator, prosecutor, and decision-maker in EC proceedings of this type, asserted that Intel competed in a manner that transgressed the antitrust laws of the European Community, by discounting its prices, purportedly at below cost levels, to win all or most of the business of five major computer manufacturers, on the implied condition that those customers buy all or most of their microprocessors from Intel.
Intel is convinced that the Commission's conclusions regarding our business practices are wrong - both factually and legally - and we have appealed the Commission's decision. Read the full statement. (PDF 84KB)
For a more detailed legal analysis click here. (PDF 233KB)
SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 13, 2009 Paul Otellini, Intel Corporation president and CEO today issued the following statement regarding the European Commission decision on Intel's business practices: Read more.
(January 27, 2009) The Court of First Instance has rejected Intel's October 2008 appeal of a European Commission decision not to seek documents from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) that rebut allegations made by AMD.
While Intel is disappointed with today's ruling on interim measures the decision has no bearing on the merits of this case. Certain AMD documents were made part of the record in the European proceeding and Intel sought to demonstrate that those documents indicated that other highly relevant documents existed. Intel asked the Commission to order AMD to provide those documents and the Commission refused. Intel respectfully disagreed, and asked the Court of First Instance to order that the documents be made available to Intel on an "interim" basis, before any further actions are taken by the Commission. Read more.
Intel Corporation today issued the following statement in response to the final written opinion from the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC):
Intel has filed a formal complaint with the Seoul High Court seeking to overturn the KFTCs final written decision that was served on Intel on Nov. 7, 2008. While the specific details of the Intel complaint are confidential due to a substantial amount of highly confidential business information, the filing asserts that the KFTC has made substantial factual and legal errors in formulating its final written opinion. Read more.
The Official Journal of the European Union has published a summary of the pending Intel appeal before the Court of First Instance (CFI.) The summary outlines, at a high level, the questions Intel is asking the CFI to address and Intel's request that CFI the extend the deadline for its reply to the Commission's Supplementary Statement of Objections in order to enable Intel to address additional documents belonging to AMD.
The U.S. District Court in Delaware has denied motions by French Consumer Group "Que Choisir" to intervene and seek access to confidential documents currently covered by the protective order in the AMD, Intel antitrust case. The protective order was originally put in place after careful analysis and a full hearing, and is designed to insure that the confidential business secrets of the parties involved in the AMD, Intel case including many third parties are protected as preparation for trial continues. The official court ruling filed on October 6 (Document #912 in the archive located at the Intel legal site) and can be read here
SANTA CLARA, Calif., October 14, 2008 In response to press questions Intel has disclosed that it has filed an appeal with the Court of First Instance (CFI) in Europe related to procedural rulings of the European Commission.
SANTA CLARA, Calif., July 17, 2008 Intel Corporation today issued the following statement in response to allegations contained in the new Statement of Objections (SO) issued by the European Commission: learn more here
SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 6, 2008 Intel Corporation today issued the following statement in response to the issuance of a subpoena from the United States Federal Trade Commission (U.S. FTC) learn more here
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