Intel, the world's biggest semiconductor maker, revealed on Monday that South Korea's Fair Trade Commission was investigating marketing and rebate programmes it had entered into with Korean PC manufacturers.

The inquiry mirrors an antitrust investigation held by Japan's Fair Trade Commission this year, and one still under way involving the European Commission.

Intel also faces litigation by Advanced Micro Devices, its closest microprocessor rival, over alleged anti-competitive actions and it said dozens of class-action lawsuits had been spawned by AMD's action.

In its quarterly 10Q report, Intel said the FTC in South Korea had requested documents from its arm there. It said it was co-operating and expected the matters would be acceptably resolved.

In March, its Japanese subsidiary avoided a protracted legal battle when it accepted a “cease and desist” ruling from the FTC there. It had found that Intel violated antitrust laws by offering rebates to five Japanese PC makers on condition they agreed to limit purchases of chips made by AMD and other rivals.

Intel said it did not agree with the facts and felt the ruling still gave it a workable framework to offer competitive pricing in Japan.

Last month, European Union investigators raided Intel offices as part of an antitrust investigation dating back to 2001.

In June, AMD filed a complaint in a Delaware court alleging Intel had engaged in a number of anti-competitive practices, including secret and discriminatory discounts and rebates.

The company said it disputed the AMD and class-action claims and intended to defend the lawsuits vigorously. Intel processors feature in four out of every five PCs sold worldwide.

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