A federal judge approved on Friday a settlement of litigation brought by Intel Corp shareholders and designed to help the world's largest chipmaker avert future antitrust problems.
Intel makes roughly 80 percent of the world's central processing units, which power personal computers, and has long been attacked by rivals and in litigation over its pricing and sales tactics.
The settlement calls for the Santa Clara, California-based company to adopt more than 40 corporate governance measures.
Among these is creation of a compliance committee comprised of three independent directors to monitor antitrust litigation, including compliance with a $1.25 billion settlement in November 2009 with rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc .
Intel will also appoint a global director of legal compliance and other personnel to oversee antitrust compliance, simplify and improve documentation for sales and pricing agreements, and improve training for thousands of employees.
The settlement agreement was reached in May and lasts through June 30, 2013, court records show.
In a seven-page opinion, Judge Joseph Farnan of U.S. District Court in Delaware called the settlement fair, adequate and reasonable, saying it is very significant that only a few of Intel's roughly 1.6 million shareholders objected.
The plaintiffs, including the Louisiana Municipal Police Employees' Retirement System and Maryland resident Charles Gilman, had filed so-called shareholder derivative litigation on behalf of Intel and against one dozen Intel executives and directors, including Chief Executive Paul Otellini.
In a July 15 court filing, the plaintiffs called the settlement a very favorable resolution of this vigorously contested and substantially complex litigation.
The defendants, in a court filing the same day, said the settlement adds significant value to Intel, though it involves no monetary payment to the company.
In June, the Federal Trade Commission and Intel lawyers said they had reached a preliminary settlement of charges that Intel used its market power to illegally stifle competition. U.S. antitrust enforcers are still reviewing that settlement.
Last November, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo sued Intel, accusing it of threatening computer makers and paying kickbacks to maintain its market dominance.
Intel and Cuomo's office did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
Shares of Intel were down 26 cents at $21.52 in morning trading on the Nasdaq.
The case is In re: Intel Corp Derivative Litigation, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware, No. 09-00867.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)