Korean Antitrust Regulators Raid Intel

The Korean Fair Trade Commission paid the South Korean offices of Intel an unannounced visit Wednesday to seize more documents to support an antitrust claim in the country. The chipmaker is fighting numerous antitrust cases worldwide, and settled with the Japanese FTC last year.

The Korean inquiry revolves around the use of marketing practices such as sales quotas to gain an unfavorable advantage over its competitors. While the company has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, the company's marketing practices have been a common theme in antitrust hearings.

According to Intel, the visit occurred during business hours Wednesday, and the KFTC requested documentation on Intel's business practices. However, competitor AMD characterized the visit differently in a statement issued Thursday afternoon.

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"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," AMD's vice president of legal affairs Thomas McCoy said.

An inquiry is currently underway in Europe, and AMD itself has filed a private antitrust complaint in the United States. In all cases, AMD has provided what it calls evidence of Intel's practice of coercing manufacturers to buy less AMD chips in favor of better prices on Intel chips.

"How many raids in how many countries need to happen before Intel accepts responsibility for its anticompetitive actions and ceases its unlawful business practices?" McCoy chided.

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