Intel dodges formal U.S. antitrust probe - report
Head of F.T.C. nixes Intel probe, despite investigations in Europe and South Korea.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The head of the Federal Trade Commission has refused to open a formal antitrust investigation of U.S. chipmaker Intel, despite requests by lawmakers, other commissioners, as well as probes by antitrust authorities overseas, according to a published report.
The New York Times reports that FTC chairwoman Deborah P. Majoras has rejected requests to elevate an informal inquiry into a formal investigation, a move which would give the agency's staff the authority to issue subpoenas and compel testimony from executives of the companies involved.
Regulators in South Korea and with the European Union have separately accused Intel (Charts, Fortune 500) of antitrust violations in recent weeks, alleging that the No. 1 maker of chips for personal computers and servers is offering large discounts to computer makers in exchange for their not using products by the rival Advanced Micro Devices (Charts, Fortune 500).
F.T.C. officials told the paper that at least two of the five commissioners have recommended that the chairwoman open a formal investigation, but Majoras has declined without elaboration to authorize a formal inquiry. A spokeswoman for the commission declined to comment on the state of the probe.
Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy told the paper the company has been closely cooperating with the commission staff as well as providing it with a significant amount of information from the foreign inquiries.