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Apple Gets Intel's Top Lawyer; Intel Contests E.U. Fine

Apple said today it's got a new top lawyer, Bruce Sewell from Intel, at a time when the maker of the iPhone and iPod faces greater regulatory scrutiny in Washington.

Sewell will be Apple's senior vice president of legal and government affairs, replacing Daniel Cooperman, who will retire in September after two years in the role. That means Sewell will be in charge of regulatory issues in Washington, as the company faces questions by the Federal Communications Commission over its exclusive agreement to run its iPhone on AT&T's network and allegations that the firm blocked the voice service Google Voice from its phone.

"With Bruce's extensive experience in litigation, securities and intellectual property, we expect this to be a seamless transition," Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said in a press release. Sewell will begin his new job at Apple on Monday and will report directly to Jobs.

Sewell served as Intel's general counsel when it was fined $1.5 billion by European regulators for anti-competitive tactics against chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices.

Intel is contesting the decision, according to a summary published in the E.U.'s official journal. The Santa Clara, Calif., company asked for the European Commission to annul or reduce the fine, saying the commission didn't adequately prove antitrust violations by offering rebates to computer makers to use Intel chips instead of those of competitor AMD.

Sewell's departure from Intel comes as the chip giant undergoes a shake-up among its top ranks. At Intel, Suzan Miller, currently deputy general counsel, will take the role of interim general counsel.

By Cecilia Kang  |  September 15, 2009; 3:58 PM ET  | Category:  Cecilia Kang
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