Trade regulator in South Korea questions Intel employees

Investigators from South Korea 's antitrust watchdog questioned some employees at Intel Corp.'s local subsidiary this week as part of an inquiry that began last year, a company spokesman said Friday.

The Korean Fair Trade Commission "made an unscheduled visit to our offices on Tuesday during normal business hours," said Chuck Mulloy, legal affairs spokesman for Intel in Santa Clara , California .

"This is part of an ongoing inquiry that we disclosed in June of 2005," Mulloy said, adding it was "not appropriate for us to talk about specifics." Mulloy said the visit to Intel Korea marked the first time regulators had arrived unannounced.

The Fair Trade Commission refused to comment.

Yonhap news agency quoted an unidentified FTC official as saying that the probe was focused on whether Intel abused its dominant position by pressuring computer makers to avoid using chips made by Intel rivals.

Intel, the world's largest chip maker, is facing numerous legal battles over how it maintains its leading position. Intel has repeatedly denied it has broken any laws.

Japan 's Fair Trade Commission said last year that Intel violated fair trade laws a ruling the company accepted without admitting wrongdoing, reports the AP.


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