The Associated Prerss

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) is in talks with the Federal Trade Commission over settling an antitrust case against the chip maker.

In December, the FTC filed charges against Intel, seeking to end what it described as decades of illegal sales tactics that have hampered competitors and kept prices for computer chips artificially high.

This week, the FTC and Intel agreed to suspend administrative trial proceedings as they work on hashing out a settlement.

The FTC has said it seeks to change Intel’s behavior instead of fines, as the European Union and South Korea have imposed. Last year, Intel paid a record $1.45 billion fine to European regulators but the company is appealing.

The two sides have 30 days to reach an agreement. If not, the case will continue and go to trial before an administrative law judge in September.

The New York Attorney General’s office is also investigating Intel.

The FTC’s lawsuit contains the most wide-ranging allegations yet against Intel, the world’s largest chip maker. If the FTC wins, the case will have a broad impact because it affects two key markets dominated by Intel — central processing units used in personal computers and graphics chips.

The FTC accused Intel of strong-arming computer makers into exclusive deals, manipulating technical data to make its chips look more powerful than those from competitors and blocking rivals from making its chips work with Intel’s.

Intel’s troubles – A timeline

The FTC has accused Intel of anticompetitive violations in the markets for central processing units (CPUs) and graphics processing units (GPUs) used in personal computers and servers. The following is a look at Intel’s previous antitrust tangles:

1991: Intel’s smaller rival, Advanced Micro Devices Inc., files an antitrust lawsuit against Intel amid years of legal disputes between the companies.

1993: The FTC drops a probe into alleged anticompetitive behavior by Intel.

1995: AMD and Intel settle all litigation between them. Intel gets $58 million, while AMD gets $18 million.

1998: The FTC accuses Intel of violating federal law by withholding technical information about its processors from computer makers with whom Intel was involved in patent disputes. Intel settled that case the following year.

2000: AMD files a complaint with the European Commission accusing Intel of abusing its dominant market position.

2005: Japan’s Fair Trade Commission finds that Intel violated antitrust rules there, a ruling Intel eventually accepts without admitting wrongdoing. AMD files antitrust lawsuit against Intel in a federal court in Delaware.

2008: Regulators in Korea fine Intel $18.6 million, a ruling Intel is appealing. U.S. Federal Trade Commission opens formal probe of Intel’s behavior.

2009: European regulators fine Intel a record $1.45 billion, a fine Intel pays but is appealing. New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo files a federal lawsuit against Intel. Intel warns AMD that the spinoff of its manufacturing division violates the companies’ cross-license agreement. The companies settle, with Intel agreeing to pay AMD $1.25 billion and the companies entering into a new, five-year cross-licensing deal. The FTC sues Intel, adding allegations regarding graphics-chip sales to complaints made by others over central processing units.

2010: The FTC and Intel say they are negotiating a settlement.

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