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Intel gets more time to respond to Japan probe

/ Source: The Associated Press

Japan's Fair Trade Commission has extended by two weeks a deadline for chipmaker Intel Corp.'s Tokyo-based subsidiary to respond to an administrative order to halt practices alleged to violate the country's anti-monopoly law, the company said.

The Japanese watchdog extended the deadline to April 1 from March 18 to give the company more time to examine the contents of the administrative order, Intel's Japan unit said in a statement.

The FTC said earlier this month that Intel K.K., the local unit of the U.S. chip giant, had violated the anti-monopoly law by using heavy-handed sales practices and its dominant market share to dissuade domestic personal computer makers from using rivals' chips.

The commission did not impose any fines on Intel, but said the U.S. company could face prosecution if it doesn't change its ways.

The FTC said Intel violated antitrust laws as early as 2002 by trying to stifle rival manufacturers of microprocessor chips that are the silicon brain of computers.

It ordered the company to put an end to the practice.

The decision followed a raid in April 2004 by the FTC of Intel's three Japanese offices on suspicions the company was improperly urging Japanese personal computer makers not to use microprocessor chips manufactured by its U.S. rivals, including Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and Transmeta Corp.

Intel defended its practices after the ruling.