Intergraph loses Intel antitrust case

Harsh biz practice not the same as monopolies

The writing on the wall for Intergraph in its solo fight against alleged Intel antitrust activities came yesterday with the failure of its attempt to take the chip giant to the cleaners. Intergraph's case, which was that Intel had breached the Sherman Antitrust Act, by cutting off access to future technology, has been thrown out by an Alabama district court judge. The federal suit against Intel was thrown out yesterday by the same court which ruled last year that Intergraph patents had not been breached by Intel. That leaves only charges of unfair business practice and breach of contract to be considered by the same court. Although Intergraph was left home alone pursuing its case against Intel, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has not stopped watching the chip giant. As part of the agreement it made with Intel last year, it has to tread a careful line and be far more of a caring, sharing firm than it used to be. We are still waiting to hear whether Intel's case against Via, which it referred to US body the International Trade Commission (ITC) earlier this year, is going in its favour. US reports say that ITC commissioners generally react speedily to such cases. Intel wants to prevent Via from importing chipsets into the US because of alleged patent violations. ®

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