Intel, FTC in talks to settle antitrust case

Intel Corp. and the Federal Trade Commission are in talks to settle an antitrust case against the chip maker, a move that might increase competition in the chip market but also could make it more difficult for rivals to pursue damages, reports the Associated Press. In December, the FTC filed charges against Intel, seeking to end what it described as decades of illegal sales tactics that have hampered competitors and kept prices for computer chips artificially high. This week, the FTC and Intel agreed to suspend administrative trial proceedings as they work on hashing out a settlement. The FTC accused Intel of strong-arming computer makers into exclusive deals, manipulating technical data to make its chips look more powerful than those from competitors, and blocking rivals from making its chips work with Intel’s. Intel has disputed the charges. A settlement would be at least a partial victory for Intel, said Robert Lande, director of the American Antitrust Institute at the University of Baltimore. If Intel loses in court, rival chip makers such as Nvidia Corp. would be able to pursue damages. By contrast, settlements often come without any admission of wrongdoing. A key question remains whether the settlement will affect computer prices. Intel says its sales strategies help keep chip prices low; the FTC argues that prices haven’t fallen as much as they could have.

The case is particularly important, because the FTC has said it wants to change Intel’s behavior, instead of merely issuing fines…

Click here for the full story…Read More

Schools fall victim to P2P security breaches

Sharing files over unsecured P2P networks can result in data breaches.
Sharing files over unsecured P2P networks can result in data breaches.

Peer-to-peer file sharing in schools and colleges has come under scrutiny again after a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) probe turned up massive security breaches that made student grades, Social Security numbers, and medical records accessible to anyone connected to the peer-to-peer networks at several institutions.

The FTC sent letters to 100 schools and companies Feb. 22, warning them of data breaches that made sensitive information vulnerable to an unknown number of people on open P2P networks.

P2P networks, when working correctly, allow groups to share information online, such as software, music, videos, and documents. The openness of these networks, however, can leave sensitive data available to people who are supposed to be barred from seeing that information if the file-sharing software is not configured properly.…Read More