Justice Dept. closes antitrust probe of ATI, Nvidia

After a nearly two-year investigation, regulators decide not to take action against the unit of chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices or Nvidia regarding their pricing and sales practices.

This post was updated at 8:40 a.m. PDT with a confirmation from Nvidia.

Advanced Micro Devices on Monday announced that the U.S. Department of Justice has closed its nearly two-year antitrust investigation into ATI Technologies, a graphics chip company it acquired shortly before the investigation began.

The Justice Department has decided not to take action against the company regarding ATI's pricing and marketing practices.

In December 2006, antitrust regulators began to investigate ATI and Nvidia, the two largest add-in graphics technology players, for possible antitrust violations within the graphics processing unit and cards industry. AMD acquired ATI for $5.4 billion in October 2006, and within weeks of that merger closing, Nvidia debuted its GeForce 8800 graphics card.

At the time, one industry analyst noted that because ATI and Nvidia were the two main players in the graphics chip market, the pricing was often similar for products of theirs offering comparable performance.

Nvidia confirmed that on Friday the DOJ notified the graphics chipmaker that it had closed the investigation and no action was taken.

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