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FTC Moves Against Intel

June 8, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Federal Trade Commission voted today to bring an antitrust complaint against Intel Corp., which makes 90 percent of the microprocessor chips used in personal computers, a company spokesman said.

Chuck Mulloy told The Associated Press that the panel voted 3-1 in a closed session to file the complaint.

The FTC scheduled a midafternoon news conference to talk about its action.

The FTC has said nothing publicly about the case. Last week, its officials declined to discuss reports that the head of its Bureau of Competition, William J. Baer, formally asked them to file the case.

Earlier this year, the Department of Justice filed an antitrust suit against Microsoft Corp., which is nearly as dominant in operating software as Intel is in chips. The Microsoft suit is scheduled to go to trial on Sept. 8.

The FTC’s move comes in the wake of two private lawsuits against Intel, claiming the $25 billion company threatened to withhold vital technology from its customers.

It was not immediately clear whether Intel executives had met with FTC commissioners, which often happens before the commission votes on bringing a lawsuit.

Intel had previously acknowledged that the FTC was conducting a ``broad business practices investigation.″

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