Intel Still Focus Of South Korean Inquiries

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Previous visits by investigators in South Korea on Intel’s rebate and marketing programs have been scheduled, but the most recent visit came unannounced.

USA Today reported on the latest visit by antitrust regulators in Seoul to Intel’s offices.

Like counterparts in Japan, South Korean authorities have investigated Intel on potential improper business practices. Those concerns center on Intel offering special deals to OEM PC manufacturers to use Intel chips instead of ones from rival chipmaker AMD.

AMD files an antitrust suit in the US in 2005 against Intel. The revelation that Korean officials had dropped by Intel Korea unannounced led to AMD releasing a slightly gleeful press release supporting that action:

“The dawn raids in Korea make it abundantly clear that competition authorities worldwide are intensifying their investigative efforts into Intel’s anticompetitive business practices because they have good reason to believe evidence of illegal monopoly abuse is there to be found,” said Thomas M. McCoy, AMD executive vice president, legal affairs and chief administrative officer.

“How many raids in how many countries need to happen before Intel accepts responsibility for its anticompetitive actions and ceases its unlawful business practices?”

Intel commented to USA Today that the visits to its Korean operations were not unusual, noting that members of the Korean Fair Trade Commission have “paid several scheduled visits to Intel’s Seoul office since launching the investigation last June.”

An Intel spokesman noted the company was cooperating with authorities.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Intel Still Focus Of South Korean Inquiries
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