NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Digital Equipment Corp. confirmed Thursday that it has been subpoenaed by the Federal Trade Commission in connection with the agency's investigation into the business practices of Intel Corp.
"We have received a subpoena issued by the FTC. The documents appear to be related to the FTC investigation of Intel. We don't know specifically what the FTC has in mind, but it is our intention to cooperate," said Digital spokesman Don Kaferle.
Kaferle said Digital received the subpoena Wednesday.
In court papers filed in July in a San Jose, Calif., federal court, Digital said Intel has a market share of nearly 90 percent in the domestic and global microprocessor market and wants to "retain that market share and the power that market share gives it."
An FTC spokesman would neither confirm nor deny that a Digital had been subpoenaed and refused to further elaborate on the Intel investigation.
The FTC's subpoena of Digital is the latest move in an inquiry the agency launched this week against the dominant chipmaker.
On Wednesday, Intel confirmed that it was notified that an investigation is under way. The company characterized the FTC's inquiry as "a very broad, general request for information... that affects a good many of Intel's business."
The company said it did not know what triggered the probe, but promised the company would cooperate.
Intel and Digital have been involved in a nasty patent infringement lawsuit in which Digital accused Intel of stealing crucial portions of patented technology related to the design of Pentium processors.
The spat escalated to the point that Intel threatened to stop shipping new Pentium chips to Digital. Intel later backed down and agreed to continue shipping chips at least through the end of the year.
Intel also went to court to force Digital to return secret documents related to Intel's plans for Merced, a next generation microprocessor currently in development.
Digital later returned the documents, saying it only wanted them as part of its effort to supply Intel with feedback on the new chip.