Antitrust Investigation. Not Microsoft. Intel

Antitrust Investigation. Not Microsoft. Intel

The Attorney General of New York has issued subpoenas to Intel, seeking information about whether Intel unlawfully compelled their customers to exclude rival AMD from the market for certain computer chips.


At issue in Cuomo's probe is whether AMD has a fair chance to supply its X86 computer processing units for desktop and laptop computers and servers. Cuomo says Intel commanded 80% of the $30 billion market.

In 2005, AMD filed a lawsuit saying Intel bullied major customers — PC makers like Dell (DELL)— into exclusive deals and offered secret rebates.

The lawsuit alleged anti-competitive practices in several countries, including Britain, Germany and Japan.

Intel, which commands three-quarters of the worldwide microprocessor market, has denied AMD's allegations and defends its business practices as legal and beneficial to consumers.

It's very difficult to sort through claims of anti-competitive practices on this scale. Words like "bullied" and "fair" are very subjective. Deals are routinely and legally made to equip machines with only one brand of chip. Computer makers are not required to offer more than one brand of chip.  The accusation of secret rebates to ensure brand exclusivity is the interesting wrinkle here. That can be proved -- or disproved-- fairly readily. If those payments exist, they will be found, as publicly traded companies really can't have any transactions that are "secret,"  when you get right down to it.

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If amd were not in the dump right now this wouldnt be an issue.. I find it ironic that AMD history tends to repeat itself. When they are doing well its all gravy but when they hit financial snags like this year well it's time to go back to suing intel and trying to squeeze more money out of them screaming monopoly.. Frankly i am just sick of it. Perhaps the reason why Intel has gained market share is because AMD sucks right now... I hate how the government and AMD themselves make it seem like there is something more sinister in the works.. If its not US then its europe.. We wonder why tech prices are so high.. going to court everyday isnt cheap.

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AMD has actually had some luck in the EU and in some other attacks through individual countries--especially Korea and Japan if I remember right. The FTC refused to pursue Intel on this matter, but it looks like NY is going to pick up the torch.  It will be interesting for sure.  In terms of the payments, I think Intel actually copped to them but said this was standard business practice and not an abuse of dominant position.  The EU didn't like that, but that is the EU where they take a much more liberal view in terms of business--the question seems to be whether this view can be invoked in the US, which I really doubt, but it will be fun to watch...

 I keep half-hearted up with these and other semiconductor events on my blog: http://sultanofsemiconductors.blogspot.com/

 Thanks for the post!!

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well if amd was going good, then intel wouldn't be using their questionable practices now would they? without intel pulling this crap, amd would be doing better. period.

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no they wouldnt.. if there analyst were smart they would realize that as of now intel has the most performance per dollar. If there any good at there job at all. Intel may give further discounts to companies on a current amd system to come over to intel but that is common practice and also works in reverse.

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Honestly, I believe Intel is guilty in the past during the Athlon and P3/P4 days. It's not for no reason that other countries (Japan, Europe, etc.) are also investigating and are convicting intel of antitrust violations. I believe it won't work out as well in the states though, we all know how flawed our government is when it comes to giant corporations. 

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