Intel promises quick reply to regulators on STMicro

With European Commission approval already secured, Intel expects U.S. regulators to respond rapidly once information is provided.

Tech Industry
Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, will quickly provide information sought by U.S. regulators over its plans to merge its chip unit with STMicroelectronics, and expects a prompt response, its chairman said.

"As you know, the Federal Trade Commission of the United States made a second request for some additional minor information before giving approval," Craig Barrett, chairman of Intel, told reporters on Wednesday.

The European Commission has already given Intel and STMicroelectronics permission for the deal, which is backed by private equity firm Francisco Partners.

"We expect a very rapid response back to FTC and then a very rapid response from them back to us," Barrett said.

Barrett is in India for a UN program to spread the use of computers in remote areas, in which Intel is involved.

Last November, he said in New Delhi that Intel was waiting for India to form its semiconductor policy before deciding on plans to begin manufacturing in the country.

"The Indian government was a bit slow in coming out with its semiconductor manufacturing proposal and missed the window of our period of time that we had to commit our next tranches of manufacturing capacity. That is a fact. That is the story," Barrett said on Wednesday.

Intel said in March it would invest $2.5 billion to build a microchip plant in northeastern China, which will be its first semiconductor plant in Asia, with the production of chipsets to begin in 2010.

But India remained important for the company and was a potential candidate for Intel's future investments, Barrett said.

"When we have need for capacity in future, we will get engaged in discussions with India."

Semiconductor firms such as Intel, Advanced Micro Devices and Freescale Semiconductor have already tapped India for chip design, but not manufacturing.

In March, Hindustan Semiconductor Manufacturing, which is backed by a group of Indian investors based in Silicon Valley, announced plans to build two chipmaking plants in India for up to $4.5 billion using technology from Germany's Infineon Technologies.

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