FTC To Talk To Nvidia About Intel

Acknowledging media reports about the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) looking into possible anti trust issues related to the Intel-Nvidia legal battle, the graphics processor giant has said that that it was in talks with the Federal body.

Intel, the world largest chipmaker, is fighting a legal battle against Nvidia in a Delaware court to determine whether Nvidia’s current license covers the new communication technology. This is used in Intel’s new processors based around the Nehalem microarchitecture and is known as DMI.

The outcome of the legal dispute is vital for Nvidia as it needs to integrate its graphic processors with Intel’s CPU. Nvidia has halted development of the Intel chipsets using DMI technology until the dispute is settled in the courts.

The reason for FTC to involve itself in the investigation pertaining to the trial is based on the possibility that Intel was using its dominant market position to obtain favorable terms from Nvidia.

Interestingly the FTC has been investigating Intel from the past three years regarding its unfair trade practices towards AMD and could possibly look for similarities between the two cases.

However, Intel had recently made a deal with AMD to drop all charges which forced Intel to pay AMD $1.25 Billion as a settlement. Meanwhile, Intel was also slapped with a $1.5 billion anti-trust fine by the EU for utilizing unfair trade practices against AMD.

Our Comments

Intel has been stepping on so many toes and has gathered so many rivals over the years that it was inevitable the sooner or later it would be involved again with the FTC and other competition bodies. It is sad though that the once thriving x86 segment has now shrunk to two remaining actors - not counting Via.

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