The Federal Trade Commission filed a law enforcement action to block U.S. semiconductor chip supplier Nvidia Corp.’s $40 billion acquisition of UK-based semiconductor design firm Arm Ltd., the largest transaction in the history of the semiconductor industry. The FTC’s action seeks to preserve competition in markets for computer chips used in datacenters and in automotive advanced driver assistance systems. The complaint named Nvidia Corp., Arm Ltd., and Arm owner Softbank Group Corp. In February 2022, Nvidia Corp. announced that it had terminated its proposed acquisition of Arm Ltd. (Arm) from SoftBank Group Corp, and the Commission dismissed the complaint.
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The Federal Trade Commission reached settlements with a group of St. Louis-based defendants who used deceptive Internet pop-up ads to trick consumers into buying unnecessary technical support services.
Broadcom Limited has agreed to establish a firewall to remedy the FTC’s concerns that its proposed $5.9 billion acquisition of Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. is anticompetitive. These concerns arise because of Broadcom’s current access to the confidential business information of Brocade’s major competitor, Cisco Systems, Inc., that could be used to restrain competition or slow innovation in the worldwide market for fibre channel switches.Fibre channel switches are part of storage area networks that transfer data between servers and storage arrays in data centers. Because fibre channel switches can quickly and securely transfer large amounts of data, they are often used for mission-critical applications. According to the complaint, San Jose, California-based Broadcom makes the fibre channel application specific integrated circuits, or ASICs, that are custom-tailored to carry out the functions of each switch. Brocade and Cisco are the only two competitors in the worldwide market for fibre channel switches, and Broadcom supplies both companies with ASICs to make fibre channel switches. The complaint alleges that Broadcom’s acquisition of Brocade could harm worldwide competition in the fibre channel switch market because as Cisco’s supplier, Broadcom has extensive access to Cisco’s competitively sensitive confidential information. The FTC order prevents Brocade from using Cisco’s competitively sensitive confidential information for any purpose other than the design, manufacturing and sale of fibre channel ASICs for Cisco. It requires Broadcom’s business group responsible for developing, producing, selling and marketing fibre channel ASICs for Cisco to have separate facilities and a separate information technology system with security protocols that allow access only to authorized individuals, and provides for other information firewall protections. To assure compliance, the Commission will appoint a monitor for five years, and the Commission may extend the appointment for up to an additional five years.
Written Submission on the Public Interest of Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez - In the Matter of Certain 3G Mobile Handsets and Components Thereof
FTC Approves Final Order Settling Charges that Honeywell’s Acquisition of Intermec was Anticompetitive in U.S. Market for Two-Dimensional Bar Code Scanners
FTC Issues Modified Final Order Settling Charges that Western Digital's Acquisition of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Was Anticompetitive in Market for Desktop Hard Disk Drives
The FTC required Western Digital Corporation to sell assets used to manufacture and sell desktop hard disk drives to Toshiba Corporation as part of a proposed settlement that resolves charges that Western Digital's proposed acquisition of rival Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Ltd. would likely have harmed competition in the market for desktop hard disk drives used in personal computers. The proposed FTC order settles charges that the deal as originally proposed would have left only two companies, Western Digital and Seagate Technology LLC, in control of the entire worldwide market for desktop hard disk drives.
The Commission filed an administrative complaint against Intel Corp., the world’s leading computer chip maker, charging that the company had illegally used its dominant market position for a decade to stifle competition and strengthen its monopoly. The complaint alleged that Intel engaged in a course of conduct to shut out rivals’ competing microchips by cutting off their access to the marketplace. In particular, the complaint alleged that Intel unlawfully maintained its monopoly in relevant central processing unit, or CPU, markets, and sought to acquire a second monopoly in the relevant graphics markets, using a variety of unfair methods of competition. In August of 2010, Intel agreed to a settlement containing provisions that would undo the effects of Intel's past conduct, and prohibiting Intel from suppressing competition in the future.
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