Intel’s antitrust legal battles escalated sharply yesterday when New York’s attorney-general accused the company of using “illegal threats and collusion” to dominate the market for computer microprocessors.
In an 87-page complaint, Andrew Cuomo said that Intel had engaged in a “systematic worldwide campaign of illegal, exclusionary conduct to maintain its monopoly power” in the market for computer chips that began in 2001.
It follows similar claims made in an action by the European Commission that resulted in a record $1.45 billion (£873 million) fine for Intel earlier this year. Mr Cuomo’s move is the first time that such allegations have led to formal regulatory action in America.
The complaint accuses Intel, the world’s biggest computer chip maker, of trying to prevent the sale of competitors’ products by paying billions of dollars in bribes, or “rebates”, to computer manufacturers. Mr Cuomo also said that Intel had retaliated against companies that did too much business with its rivals.