[JURIST] Computer microchip manufacturer Intel on Thursday agreed to settle all outstanding legal issues with rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) [corporate websites] by paying paying its competitor $1.25 billion. The terms of the settlement were laid out in press releases by both Intel and AMD [texts], with the major provisions being a cessation of three antitrust suits by AMD against Intel, a promise by Intel to abide by new business practices, and a patent cross-licensing agreement between the two companies. On a conference call [transcript, PDF] with the media, AMD president and CEO Dirk Meyer thanked worldwide regulatory agencies for their work in bringing about a level playing field in the computer microchip market, and promised a bright future for AMD. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) [official website], which had been investigating Intel's practices for violation of antitrust law, had no official comment on the settlement, but it is believed that the agreement will not shield Intel [WSJ report] from ongoing investigations.
The agreement with AMD settles at least some of the many issues Intel has faced regarding its business methods both in the US and around the world. Last week, the New York Attorney General filed an antitrust suit against Intel [JURIST report], alleging that the manufacturer illegally cornered the microchip market by threatening computer manufacturers if they used AMD chips and obtained exclusive licensing agreements from those companies in exchange for large payments. In July, Intel appealed [JURIST report] a € 1.6 million fine levied by the European Commission for violating European Union antitrust laws. Similarly, in June 2008, the Korean Fair Trade Commission fined Intel [JURIST report] $25 million for unfair practices. That same month, the FTC opened a probe into alleged anticompetitive business activity undertaken by Intel.