After three years of dragging the issue in court, Intel Corp. finally reached a settlement with the New York Attorney General regarding alleged violation of antitrust laws. The NY antitrust lawsuit will cost Intel Corp. $6.5 million.
In November 2009, Andrew Cuomo, then attorney general for New York and present day governor, initiated a legal action against Intel Corp. over allegations that the world’s largest chipmaker had failed to abide by several state and U.S. antitrust laws.
Basically, Intel Corp. was accused by Cuomo for a “systematic worldwide campaign” meant to force customers into buying personal computer chips from Intel and not rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
Now, three years later, Intel was more than happy to put an end to the lawsuit by agreeing to a settlement that isn’t actually changing anything. As Reuters points out, the $6.5 million settlement is less than five hours of profit for Intel and it does not require the company to admit any violation of the law or that the allegations might have been true.
At the same time, the settlement does not impact in any way Intel’s business methodology, the company explaining that it had agreed to pay the $6.5 million “to cover some of the costs incurred” by the lawsuit.
Intel General Counsel Doug Melamed said: “Following recent court rulings in Intel’s favor that significantly and appropriately narrowed the scope of this case, we were able to reach an agreement with New York to bring to an end what remained of the case”. Doug Melamed also emphasized that the company’s “business practices are lawful, pro-competitive and beneficial to consumers and we are pleased this matter has been resolved”.
Some might call this a lucky break, but Intel’s history of anticompetitive allegations doesn’t end here. In fact, at the moment Intel is still fighting a 1.06 billion euro from the European Union. In 2010, the Federal Trade Commission also had to settle in a case where Intel was accused of unlawfully stifling competition in microprocessors.
Thus, with so many cases, chances are Cuomo was right but had been forced to settle. Interesting fact about the case: in November 2009, one week after Cuomo had made his allegations against Intel, the chipmaker agreed to pay his rival AMD $1.25 billion to clear the record.