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Intel Slammed Again for Monopoly Ploy

Updated Intel comments and stock prices

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Intel (INTC - Get Report) was hit with more monopolist charges Wednesday as Federal Trade Commission regulators brought an anticompetitive-practices case against the chipmaker.

Through threats and bribes, Intel persuaded computer makers like Hewlett-Packard (HPC), Dell (DELL) and IBM (IBM) to use its chips and not those from rivals like AMD (AMD - Get Report) and Nvidia (NVDA - Get Report), according to the FTC.

The heavy-handed practices stifled innovation and consumer choices and gave Intel, the dominant computer processor supplier, a near lock on the market, says the FTC.

The lawsuit comes six weeks after N.Y. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo brought antitrust charges against Intel, alleging coercive business practices and kickback schemes to thwart competition.

U.S. regulators and business cops have cracked down on Intel this year in the wake of the European Union's decision to penalize the chip giant.

In May, the EU fined Intel $1.45 billion over its use of rebates to computer makers that helped squeeze out rival suppliers.

Intel responded, calling the FTC case "misguided." In a statement, the company said that the government's claims are "not based on existing law but are instead intended to make new rules."

Hoping to help its case, Intel played the patriotic card by restating in the release an announcement it made in February calling for a $7 billion investment in U.S. manufacturing. That move, as TheStreet first revealed, actually masked an 8% cut in spending for the chip giant.

Intel shares were down 2% to $19.46 while AMD and Nvidia shares were up 6% and 7% in early trading Wednesday.

-- Reported by Scott Moritz in New York

Related Stories:

>>Intel Slapped With N.Y. Antitrust Suit

>>EU Fine the Least of Intel's Worries

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