Though the US Federal Trade Commission has yet to issue a statement as of 1:30 pm EDT, Intel has acknowledged it has received a subpoena from the FTC, effectively formalizing its inquiry into Intel's US business practices in the CPU market. Intel received the subpoena on Wednesday, the company said. The subject of that subpoena is not likely to be related to a small fine issued Wednesday by the Korean Fair Trade Commission, as that matter was related to rebates the company gave Korean customers.
Not surprisingly, AMD executive vice president Tom McCoy -- whose company has prompted much of this investigation -- released a statement minutes ago: "Intel must now answer to the Federal Trade Commission, which is the appropriate way to determine the impact of Intel practices on US consumers and technology businesses. In every country around the world where Intel's business practices have been investigated, including the decision by South Korea this week, antitrust regulators have taken action."
Last October, Intel acknowledged sharing with the FTC several sets of internal documents, by way of an official denial of reports that the FTC had actually subpoenaed that information. At that time, Intel spokesperson Chuck Mulloy told us his company regularly shares requested information with the Commission, as well as volunteers information it may not even know it needs yet. But Wednesday's subpoena, and Intel's response to it, indicates there was something that was heretofore unshared.
The precise subject matter of what the FTC is seeking has never been publicly stated, and may not be until the FTC issues a statement of its own. That could come later today.
Both Intel and AMD stock took a hit on today's news, on top of bad economic news, dropping in value 3% and 2%, respectively, by 1:30 this afternoon.