Updated: 9:39 a.m.
The Federal Trade Commission filed suit against Intel Corporation today, alleging that the chip giant had “waged a systematic campaign to shut out rivals’ competing microchips by cutting off their access to the marketplace,” according to the agency’s press release this morning.
After what two commissioners called an “unprecedented” four meetings of the commission, it voted unanimously to file suit. The complaint alleges that Intel “fell behind in the race for technological superiority,” and resorted to “deception and coercion” to catch up, according to a statement by Chairman Jon Leibowitz and Commissioner J. Thomas Rosch.
The FTC brought it’s case largely under a rarely used separate authority granted to the commission, the commissioners said, in order to limit any private liability Intel might be subject to as a result of the lawsuit.
“Intel has engaged in a deliberate campaign to hamstring competitive threats to its monopoly,” said Richard A. Feinstein, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition in a statement. “It’s been running roughshod over the principles of fair play and the laws protecting competition on the merits.
The commission is hosting a press conference later this morning. We’ll bring you updates as the story develops.