Intel Corp. today said the Federal Trade Commission has ended its antitrust investigation of the chipmaker without pursuing any other action.
The FTC had continued its investigation of Intel, Santa Clara, Calif., after the two parties signed an agreement in March 1999 involving a narrow legal question on Intel's sharing of its intellectual property with three computer OEMs-Compaq Computer, Digital Equipment Corp. and Intergraph Corp.-that were suing the microprocessor giant.
Intel agreed then to continue sharing its IP with the litigants if they also agreed not to seek an injunction against Intel's selling the products in dispute.
The FTC's investigation of Intel continued at a very low level, and no formal complaints surfaced against the company. Intel went a long way toward removing any anti-competitive complaints this summer when it agreed to license third-party chipset vendors to support its Pentium III and Celeron MPUs, and opened the possibility of similar chipset licenses to support its upcoming Pentium 4.
Sources believed Intel's actions were motivated mainly by the need to get an adequate supply of chipsets supporting PC133 SDRAM and DDR memory, than by any concerns of the lingering FTC investigation.