The KTFC is looking into whether Intel has used marketing programs, product discounts or sales quotas in a manner that violated Korean antitrust law. Last year, thethat Intel signed contracts with Japanese PC makers that effectively required these companies to limit the amount of processors they buy from Advanced Micro Devices.
Intel disputed the JFTC's finding of facts and law, but it agreed to send relevant employees to mandatory training classes and to give up some business practices. Intel did not.
The nature of the raid in Seoul depends on one's perspective. AMD called the visit by the KFTC a dawn raid and used the terms "dawn raid" and "dawn raids" at least seven times in a press release. AMD also said news reports from Seoul indicated that the KFTC visited four or five other PC makers on Tuesday and Wednesday.
An Intel representative described it somewhat differently. It was an unscheduled visit on Wednesday, but it took place during business hours. The KFTC officials wanted further information and documentation on Intel's business practices, he said. Earlier in the year, Intel provided documents to the KFTC.
"It is not unusual for agencies to ask for follow-up," the representative added.
Intel is currently facing a number of antitrust challenges worldwide. Besides the Japanese and Korean investigations, an investigation is pending in Europe. AMD has also filedagainst Intel in the United States. The allegations in the different actions are similar and revolve around whether Intel coerced PC makers into buying more Intel chips, and fewer AMD chips, than they might have liked.
The nub of the cases is what amounts to coercion. The allegations charge that Intel used marketing dollars to coerce them. Some PC executives, however, have said those.
AMD, however, has promised to produce witness testimony and e-mails that demonstrate the coercive nature of some of these programs.