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The FTC announced Friday that it will formally examine whether Intel abused its dominant position

Somewhere at the headquarters of AMD, there must have been a cheer that went up on Friday.  After months of losing ground to Intel, employee layoffs, and under the shadow of Intel's looming Nehalem architecture, the company finally had some good news to be happy about.

It’s no small mystery that AMD these days simply seems incapable of outcompeting Intel.  Intel argues that this is due to its superior products.  AMD, however, has long maintained that Intel was deploying anticompetitive processes, which it says are digging it into a hole from which it cannot escape.  However, despite a passionate ad campaign and lengthy discussions with antitrust officials in the U.S., AMD has seemingly had a tough time selling its idea that Intel was cheating in the microprocessor war.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which supervises free trade in the U.S., announced that it was launching a formal antitrust investigation against Intel.  The stakes are high for both Intel and AMD; the total market for microprocessors racked up $225 billion in sales last year. 

Both Intel and AMD realize what’s at stake and have spent tens of millions in legal expenses and on public relations campaigns.  AMD had previous success in Europe, Korea, and Japan -- all of which have investigated Intel or threatened it with possible fines.  However, the biggest victory -- a U.S. antitrust investigation -- seemed out of reach until this week.

State authorities and federal appointees from the Bush administration have been taking a more lenient approach to antitrust that their European counterparts.  However, the major decision Friday marked a sharp new shift in policy. 

The new investigation originated with the new blood -- William E. Kovacic, the new chairman of the trade commission.  With the backing of his fellow commissioners, he reversed the decision of Deborah P. Majoras, the previous chair, who had been blocking the investigation for months to the frustration of those on Capitol Hill.  Majoras was a more lenient appointee, and helped work out the antitrust settlement in 2001 with Microsoft.

It will take months before formal charges against Intel might be made, so the upcoming administration’s stance will greatly factor into the case.  AMD is relying on the federal case as only one state -- New York, at the behest of attorney general Andrew M. Cuomo -- has agreed to investigate Intel on a state level.  California attorney general Jerry Brown denied AMD's pleas, derisively commenting that he was "not barking at every truck that comes down the street."

D. Bruce Sewell, Intel’s senior vice president and general counsel, says that the U.S. antitrust laws are different than European ones, and it will not be charged.  Intel is planning on racking up its Capitol Hill efforts, though, likely in the form of lobbyist dollars.

The first signs of the upcoming bad news for Intel appeared when chip manufacturers began to get subpoenaed by the FTC.  The FTC is working with Europe and other foreign governments to obtain evidence to use against Intel in a possible case.  Mr. Sewell said that he was working amiably with the FTC on a less formal review since 2006 and that Intel would remain cooperative.

AMD's top executives expressed their pleasure over the Commission's decision.  Tom McCoy, executive vice president for legal affairs at AMD, stated, "Intel must now answer to the Federal Trade Commission, which is the appropriate way to determine the impact of Intel practices on U.S. consumers and technology businesses.  In every country around the world where Intel’s business practices have been investigated, including the decision by South Korea this week, antitrust regulators have taken action."

The largest U.S. antitrust investigation since the Microsoft one of the 90s came the same week as more good news for AMD; Korean officials slammed Intel with a $25 million fine for violating its fair trade laws.  The Korean officials discovered that Intel illegally paid Samsung Electronics and the Trigem Company $37 million in payments between 2002 and 2005 to not buy AMD processors.  The European Union's European Commission (EC), which charged Intel with "the aim of excluding its main rival from the market" is expected to expand its charges this year.

Intel currently owns somewhere between 80 to 90 percent of the worldwide microprocessor market.  Many U.S. citizens do not realize that U.S. laws do allow monopolies, unlike elsewhere, but forbid companies with a monopoly from using its dominance to restrict competition.

With mounting evidence worldwide, Intel faces a tough case before the FTC.  However, it will likely do what it takes, or perhaps more aptly write the lobbyist checks needed to prevent it from becoming the next Microsoft.  Meanwhile, AMD will also likely step up its efforts in hopes that it can stop its downhill slide by a court victory over Intel.

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If this is what it takes, so be it.
By ImSpartacus on 6/8/2008 12:01:51 AM , Rating: 5
As much as I am pro free market, Intel cannot be allowed to destroy the competition. It's just bad for consumers.

I don't want Intel's only competition to be Moore's Law.

RE: If this is what it takes, so be it.
By Joz on 6/8/08, Rating: -1
By oab on 6/8/2008 1:03:24 AM , Rating: 5
Via is only competition in the HTPC and ultra-mobile sub-notebook market where low-power usage is critical. They can't compete in the regular desktop, workstation, laptop and server markets.

RE: If this is what it takes, so be it.
By borismkv on 6/8/08, Rating: 0
RE: If this is what it takes, so be it.
By copiedright on 6/8/2008 4:28:15 AM , Rating: 5
VIA is not worth remembering?

Maybe you should open up your computer and look at your motherboard sometime. If there's nothing VIA in there, try opening your NAS, if you have one.

I would bet that you would use something made by VIA easily once a week. Played a slot machine lately? Driven an expensive car lately? Been to a hospital lately?

VIA is the reason you are using DDR1/2/3 instead of RAMBUS!!!

And VIA's products are in no way outdated. The VX800 system chip supports PCI Express, DDR2, HD Audio, DirectX9, SATA2. The new VIA's Nano processor using the Isaiah out of order architecture, is 64bit and is up to date on the instruction sets used.

Just because they don't market directly at you and aim for power efficiency and affordability, does not make them inferior.

As for Intel's Atom.... Intel Atom is comparable in performance to the VIA C7 processor, which has been out for years. Although the atom is a lot more power efficient. But I would hope Atom would be, considering its built on a 45nm process and has 2-3 years of technological advancements.

As for VIA's Nano.... From current benchmarks it seems to be around the speed of a Intel CeleronM 540. Yes its not amazing, but it does so using a fraction of the power.

Yes I am pro VIA, Why? Because I have respect for a company that puts its engineers over its marketers.

By Ringold on 6/8/2008 4:44:06 AM , Rating: 2
Because I have respect for a company that puts its engineers over its marketers.

Whatever lets a firm with no CPU market share to speak of sleep at night. :)

RE: If this is what it takes, so be it.
By Strunf on 6/8/2008 7:15:22 AM , Rating: 2
"VIA is the reason you are using DDR1/2/3 instead of RAMBUS!!!"

Arguably I would say AMD is the reason for that. DDR 2 and DDR 3 are here mainly cause of Intel that somewhat supported them early when compared to AMD, VIA had nothing to do with it.

"And VIA's products are in no way outdated. The VX800 system chip supports PCI Express, DDR2, HD Audio, DirectX9, SATA2."

No PCI Ecpress 2, no DDR 3, no DirectX 10. 1 ... what an oldie.

"As for Intel's Atom.... Intel Atom is comparable in performance to the VIA C7 processor"

It's more like the Atom is 70% faster than the C7.

"I have respect for a company that puts its engineers over its marketers."

Yeah right like if VIA had never give us bugged products and what not.

RE: If this is what it takes, so be it.
By Lightnix on 6/8/2008 9:36:37 AM , Rating: 2
However, VIA's single core Nano can keep up with a single core Conroe-L Celeron M processor. That said, it even outperforms the hyperthreading Atom on multithreaded benchmarks, and absolutely crushes it on floating point performance.

RE: If this is what it takes, so be it.
By Strunf on 6/8/2008 1:23:33 PM , Rating: 4
"absolutely crushes it on floating point performance."
If you refer to the CrystalMark benchmark the Isaiah is just slightly better than Atom on FPU (less than 5%) and 28% better on ALU. Knowing that hyperthreading really helps the Atom I have my doubts that the Isaiah will outperform it on multithreaded benchs, and if it does it's not going to be by much.

Also the 1.6 GHz Isaiah has a TDP of 17W Atom 1.6 GHz 2W and the Atom can reach much deeper "sleep states", the Atom is not made to be blazing fast but to be the best performer on the area of performance per watt and cheap...

Now if you know of any other bench besides the CrystalMark please share them cause I have not seen any other yet.

By just4U on 6/8/2008 2:04:59 PM , Rating: 2
out of curiousity what would the Isaiah and Atom compare to in the P4 days? Performance wise that is.

By Chadder007 on 6/8/2008 7:37:06 PM , Rating: 2
Too bad AMD bought ATI....they might should have bought VIA for the Nano processor for this new ultraportable market that is starting up.

By Crank the Planet on 6/12/2008 7:19:32 PM , Rating: 2
You all are missing the point and getting side tracked with VIA. Intel has been accused AND FOUND GUILTY in several countries around the world. If the FTC does a fair investigation they will be found guilty here too. It's not a question of "if." What amazes me is the amount of money Intel has spent to keep this from coming to light. Even Mrs. Marjoras may be implicated.

Wow- justice is being served.

By Reclaimer77 on 6/8/2008 12:28:43 PM , Rating: 2
VIA is not worth remembering?

Oh I remember VIA. I remember that I will never buy another motherboard with a VIA chipset ever again.

By FITCamaro on 6/8/2008 8:10:18 AM , Rating: 4
In 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003, VIA had some of the best chipsets out there. It wasn't until Nvidia and ATI jumped into the fray that their marketshare started to fall.

Hell VIA kept AMD rolling until those two started producing chipsets. Through the AMD64 days they still had excellent chipsets. My Athlon64 3200+ ran on a Via K8T800 board because the Nforce boards weren't as stable. And the K8T800Pro was pretty good too.

RE: If this is what it takes, so be it.
By benx009 on 6/8/08, Rating: -1
By rudolphna on 6/9/2008 10:10:28 AM , Rating: 2
Not all VIA is bad. I used to use an old Tyan S1854 Trinity 400 motherboard. It had a VIA Apollo Pro133 chipset, and it was a fantastic board. Paired with an 866 P-III coppermine, it ran great. Stable, no crashes. The Isaiah looks promising. I wouldnt expect it to be long before NVidia tries to purchase VIA so it can try to make CPUs.

By Mgz on 6/8/2008 2:10:36 AM , Rating: 2
VIA in all cap, not small case :p

Since they are both Taiwanese so they should have similar business culture, so the integration should be pretty smooth and seamless. VIA is dirt cheap nowadays anyway, plus it is the convenient way for nVidia to acquire the x86 license and VIA IP/patent/expertise in CPU making, so we could have a very interesting 3 horses race.

RE: If this is what it takes, so be it.
By BansheeX on 6/8/2008 5:20:03 AM , Rating: 1
As much as I am pro free market, Intel cannot be allowed to destroy the competition. It's just bad for consumers.

I don't want Intel's only competition to be Moore's Law.

There are two things that socialists find really hard to understand with truly free markets:

a) The role that government powers (inevitably bribed) currently play in eroding small capital and competition, primarily through subsidies (cumulative and direct transfer of wealth from the people's incomes to a company of the government's choosing), special privilege legislation like 900 page NAFTA managed trade, bans purported to be safety-related (stevia vs aspartame), and taxpayer bailouts under the pretense that allowing bankruptcy would be to the overall economy's detriment.

b) That a legitimate market leader or "monopoly" not created from collusive activity with government is neither self-sustaining nor inherently bad for the consumer. If Intel gets lazy and starts overcharging or delivering crap products relative to their older ones, that will not only hurt their sales and cause shareholders to invest in something else, it will create an opportunity for someone else to come in. But if Intel DOES keep delivering great products and retaining their monopoly based solely on the fear of this happening, how is that bad for the consumer?

RE: If this is what it takes, so be it.
By bpurkapi on 6/8/2008 6:48:37 AM , Rating: 3
Socialists or Libertarians are actually completely aware of the points you bring up, heck the points you bring up are not so much points, but common sense. Now the true difference that we can start to debate is whether or not Intel actually colluded with OEM's to choose their products vs. AMD's. When I first read this article I immediately thought this would turn into fanboy banter, but yet this is far worse... It has turned into free market vs. socialists. Most comments after a Dailytech article I read are completely unrelated to the actual technology and instead are about ideology, or some other biased crap; whether that be religiously affiliated or culturally affiliated. Let's talk Tech not issues which are never going to have an acceptable outcome to all parties. For all those who disagree there is a site called Dailypolitics, or Dailyhumor which you can post your comments on... Its called Dailytech for a reason!

RE: If this is what it takes, so be it.
By BansheeX on 6/8/08, Rating: -1
RE: If this is what it takes, so be it.
By Schrag4 on 6/9/2008 11:17:33 AM , Rating: 3
Why is it inherently bad for suppliers to make exclusivity payouts with producers?

You're right, this isn't bad, but the article paints a slightly different picture:

The Korean officials discovered that Intel illegally paid Samsung Electronics and the Trigem Company $37 million in payments between 2002 and 2005 to not buy AMD processors.

It doesn't say that Intel paid those companies to buy Intel only (exclusivity as you mentioned). It says Intel paid those companies to not buy AMD. If the article is worded incorrectly (or incompletely), please change it. Otherwise, this sounds like a horrible thing for Intel to do.

RE: If this is what it takes, so be it.
By therealnickdanger on 6/9/08, Rating: 0
By callmeroy on 6/9/2008 1:34:33 PM , Rating: 5
As one who has read the entire court case that AMD originally filed against INTEL (side-note if your only source of info on this case is the paltry stuff posted here on DT you don't know 1/10th of AMD's whole claim), and AMD claims and reports to have evidence of several shady dealings by Intel of an anticompetitive nature - one including special deals on a per customer basis, another issue in the case file was pretty much Intel's alledged slandering of AMD on false grounds just to cut down their reputation and win over customer and yet another was Intel offering "bribe-like" incentives to customers if they ignored AMD business.

Whatever you think - all those things I just named are illegal to do in business. Now do you know of business that do that sort of thing everyday, maybe -- do I yeah perhaps..but remember the old story "you are only in trouble if you get caught"...pretty much the same with this stuff. Shady business deals or questionable business deals go down every day of the week -- its only the ones who get caught you read about.

Funny how times change -- I remember thinking "so what"...when everyone wanted to burn Microsoft at the stake for making IE part of the OS and I seemed to have been alone then. But now this case comes along and what Intel is accused of doing to AMD is 100 times worse that the Microsoft IE thing IMO, yet people are backing Intel.


By Schrag4 on 6/9/2008 2:20:24 PM , Rating: 2
I think you totally missed my point. I actually agreed with you in my previous post. However, the article, as worded, claims it went down more like this:

"Hi, I'm with Intel and we don't care who you buy CPUs from, but we'll give you large sums of money if you would NOT buy from AMD. Buy from anyone else, just not AMD."

The obvious reason for doing this would be to kill off a much smaller competitor that doesn't have the reserves to survive losing money for several years. If the competition is small enough and dies off quickly enough, you can make up the 'bribe money' after they're gone in the form of higher market share and/or higher prices.

Again, let me stress that according to the law, exclusivity deals are OK. But the article is worded in such a way that suggests that Intel went beyond mere exclusivity deals.

By plinkplonk on 6/9/2008 12:09:58 PM , Rating: 2
Suppose Intel's chips were half the performance of AMD and they paid Dell the same amount to be exclusive, do you think Dell would have benefited?

Yes, because you forget that the average consumer has no idea and just goes by the brand name.

RE: If this is what it takes, so be it.
By Master Kenobi on 6/8/08, Rating: -1
RE: If this is what it takes, so be it.
By DeepBlue1975 on 6/8/2008 7:25:49 PM , Rating: 3
Monopolies always fix prices. And they are fixed according to their profit needs, not the consumer's expectations.
And without competitors, almost nothing motivates a company to work on really better products (better <> new) as that implies a higher cost than simply coming up with "simple" product refreshes.

You know this is true no matter if we're talking about Intel or AMD or VIA or Cyrix or whomever. A company with a strong lead kept for many years will try to exploit the acquired reputation and save the higher costs (engineering and R&D) while resorting more to less costly practices (marketing, publicity, etc) so that they can maximize their revenues while adding the lowest possible cost.

That's not good for anyone.

RE: If this is what it takes, so be it.
By BansheeX on 6/9/08, Rating: -1
RE: If this is what it takes, so be it.
By Aloonatic on 6/9/2008 4:55:01 AM , Rating: 2
And if they do it, it creates so large a disparity between cost and price that someone else will come in and undercut them. Thus the price fixing is UNSUSTAINABLE without extracurricular government help.

You know that people are talking about monopolies here, there is no one else???? That's the point.

If you're talking about new companies coming into the market, you think that the company which has a monopoly to defend will give the newcomer an easy ride?

Maybe this would be possible in the coloured wrist band industry but not the CPU market, where massive investment in R&D and Fabrication facilities would be needed to compete on a level playing field and don't just appear over night.

I admire your rather strange defence of monopolies and I can only assume that you are doing this for fun, but seriously, you know that you are living in a rather odd dream world don't you?

RE: If this is what it takes, so be it.
By BansheeX on 6/9/08, Rating: -1
By Aloonatic on 6/9/2008 12:09:01 PM , Rating: 2
AMD came from IBM demanding that Intel wasn't the only fabricator of chips and had to be given a leg up by Intel in the first place.

If Intel weren't forced to give AMD information then there would not be an AMD like there is now.

The infinite capital argument is a bit silly (as most of these arguments are, granted, i was arguing a total monopoly) and I hoped that my allusion to the arm band manufacturing company may have made it obvious to you that it is more to do with the massive barrier that is the cost of entry to the market.

And if Intel were making these $500 margin chips and IBM and AMD were starting from scratch, just wear would they make their competing chips, who would be designing them and who in their right mind would invest in a company facing a competitor who is able to sell a product happily making those sort of margins?

And then Intel have $500 margin to play with and cut for as long as it takes to see off any upstart.

They could afford to sell them at a loss assuming that they had had the market to themselves for long enough to have built up some serious levels of reserves and stock holders would be happy to invest a little bit more knowing that it as as close to a sure fire winner as you can get.

That is what I meant about defending their market.

I agree that when 1 company has a dominant position it is perfectly reasonable to defend how ever they can within the law, but in the example you set out it is obvious that Intel could just price anyone out of the market very quickly.

Are Intel being punished for Intel/IBM/VIA's incompetence?

Mostly, these arguments are pointless and people are arguing over different things here I think.

The point is, monopolies are rarely any good and there are laws against them for a reason.

have run out oif time at work, haven't had time to proof read, hope it makes sense :-s

By DeepBlue1975 on 6/9/2008 10:30:42 AM , Rating: 2
Please remember the definition of monopoly. It's not the same as "dramatic winner". It's "only supplier".

Intel was never a monopoly, it's being accused of trying to
enforce monopolic practices so they can become a monopoly.

And contrary to what you think, MS could be still selling windows ME if they wanted to. They have pretty closed policies as for compatibility, and no matter how unstable their past products could have been or not, they were always the easiest to use and that's what finally counts for people.
OS/2 Warp v3 was, IMHO, the best OS out there when w95 came out, but it was not advertised as much as Windows, was not as easy to use as windows, and finally, was not completely compatible with many windows products and when win95 came out every single software company developed for it instead of OS/2, to the point that even OS/2 die hards like me had to stop using it and jump into the w95 nightmarewagon.
Much better multitasking, much better memory efficiency (I could do lots of stuff on a 386 with 5mb RAM, a setup that wouldn't even run w95 acceptably well)... But not as easy to use and definitely almost noone kept developing for OS/2 when w95 came out.
The winner is he who can get the better part of the marketshare regardless of how, while keeping profits high enough, and not precisely he who offers the better products.
Remember DEC's Alpha processor? Always light years ahead of any other CPU in performance? Well, there you've got it, DEC bankrupted because best technology does not necessarily equate to best business practices (for the own company, of cuorse). We don't have those speedy Alphas anymore.
And then SGI, those powerful graphic machines which were used to make the fx for terminator 2... Now if you see any nto so old Sillicon Graphics machine, it almost surely has an Intel processor and runs Windows instead of Irix.

Power PC processors were great and gave an edge to Macs over PCs in their territory... Now they have Intel processors, AMD/Nvidia graphics cards, regular memory, and so on. A Mac today is just a PC in a pretty disguise, a huge price and running MacOS instead of windows.

Get the picture? "best products" were easily surpassed in marketshare by great marketing and pubilcity, and sheer mass acceptation. And everybody knows that what most people accept is not always the best there is, and specially if we talk about the mainstream market, in which most people won't be spending several hours browsing the net and reading reviews about the products he'll buy, but instead just listen to a 5 minute reseller talk or ask someone who they think knows better than them about what they should buy.

By rudolphna on 6/9/2008 10:13:53 AM , Rating: 2
So.... We have intel. Intel doesn't have any competition. What motive do they have for producing better parts? Why spend millions of dollars to develop new architectures when noone exists to challenge their position? They don't. Hell, we might even go back to the days of the P-4, because there is no reason for them to spend the money.. Where is everyone going to spend their money? The answer is... Intel.

RE: If this is what it takes, so be it.
By kc77 on 6/8/2008 12:24:22 PM , Rating: 2
Nice to see you again :)

First of all as I said before free market theories while Utopian in it's aspirations can never truly happen.

We do have one area of agreement. Government collusion with business in furthering agendas that directly benefit any company is bad...very bad. But your unicorn, pie in the sky theory that markets will self correct in the event of monopolistic practices which stifle competition in a primordial soup of better products is just shortsighted, and obtuse.

This whole article is in direct conflict with your statement. You have Intel which during 2001 - 2005 had a uncompetitive product bordering horrible. There wasn't government intervention at all and the result is that even though Intel had an inferior product, it had absolutely no effect on them. Why?

Once any company becomes a monopoly, it effectively lives outside of economic forces. It is in fact the definition of monopoly itself which means "exclusive control of a commodity or service in a particular market, or a control that makes possible the manipulation of prices" that is so telling. So follow me here, if a company is a monopoly and can control prices, HOW CAN A FREE MARKET APPROACH PROTECT A COMPETITOR WITH A BETTER PRODUCT??? The answer is it can't. We see it all around us... higher and higher gas prices, which from our last conversation, I'm still waiting for your free market theory to kick in and bring down the prices of energy since we have enough alternatives to fossil fuels in existence that something should be kicking in right about now dont'cha think?

In addition, since the last time we talked I said I didn't feel like dissecting and diagramming some of your theories, statements, and misconceptions on definitions, well in light of a $135 dollar barrel of oil I have found new ambitions to set ablaze your market theories which seem to emanate from the ethereal soup emanating from a power source in existence beyond the Thunderdome.

First your frivolous use of "socialism", just because someone on this earth objects when companies use their mind share, market share, and capital within the economic system we call capitalism to control markets and shut out competition does not make them a socialist. I could say that your casual way of throwing out the term socialism makes you an one-dimensional Neanderthal with fleeting aspirations to control the masses through ignorance, imperialistic tendencies, and propagandistic approaches not seen since World War II, and then encapsulate everything you say with a single word....communism. But by doing so would stereotype you and would be no better than shouting the word socialism at someone who has no problem with people making money and just wants it to be done honestly and in adherence with common law. So I won't.

I don't have a problem with capitalism, I just despise it when it operates in a race condition leading to a path of dominance of the population by the few and assures the mutual destruction of the populous as a whole.

Nothing in this world operates without limits, or boundaries.

RE: If this is what it takes, so be it.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/8/08, Rating: -1
RE: If this is what it takes, so be it.
By kc77 on 6/8/2008 4:30:17 PM , Rating: 1
Um, no. AMD bascially survived those years because their products WERE better, Also there several times within this time period were Intel could not supply enough processors to market. The only fact that you have listed is that Intel has a huge advertising campaign / cash reserves.

Actually you should pick your poison and have a better understanding what this suit is about before you list facts that aren't.

RE: If this is what it takes, so be it.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/8/08, Rating: -1
RE: If this is what it takes, so be it.
By OCedHrt on 6/8/2008 8:21:05 PM , Rating: 1
Exactly. "How many people knew that?" Don't you ever wonder why it is like that? Intel paid companies to market itself as better. Manufacturers listed Intel machines as top of the line and listed AMD as value. Retailers were given a payout to push Intel over AMD.

Most "joe smoes buying a Dell or Gateway" didn't know what Intel was either, just that the sales guy on the floor says Intel > AMD because that is what he has been instructed to do.

RE: If this is what it takes, so be it.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/8/08, Rating: -1
RE: If this is what it takes, so be it.
By danrien on 6/8/2008 9:57:14 PM , Rating: 5
When a company pays another company whom buys products from them to not advertise their competitor's products, that's not competing in a free market, but instead closing a market out so your competitor can effectively not compete. Thus, as US law has held for many years, it is violating the rules that apply to a monopoly.

In effect it's like you paying the ref at the basketball game so your team wins. On one side, you could argue that you were just "competing" differently to win the game, but on the other hand, the other team never even stood a chance, and thus the fans (the customers) lost the chance to see a good game.

Basically, AMD has been trying to play catch-up to Intel for a few decades now, and everything they have attempted - having better products, doing large marketing campaigns, etc., have not worked. The question that AMD is asking, entering their fourth decade of existence, is why? And in the end, the talent at AMD doesn't lose, there are plenty of experienced, intelligent individuals there who will find jobs elsewhere; instead it is us, the customers, who lose, from price rigging and unfair market manipulation.

RE: If this is what it takes, so be it.
By BansheeX on 6/9/08, Rating: 0
By adiposity on 6/9/2008 11:56:07 AM , Rating: 4
What's absolutely hilarious about this analogy is how wrong it is, and how I keep getting rated down trying to explain to people the difference. The referee has powers that a player doesn't. The government has powers that the private industry doesn't. He can eject players, he can deny points, he can give points, and he can also be bribed. The referee is the government, but Intel never colluded with government. They made a legitimate contract with several OEMs, who took a calculated risk to gain more from a payout than prospective losses to other OEMs offering purportedly good AMD chips. In no way could Intel prevent customers from choosing AMD, only under certain brands. It would literally take an infinite amount of capital to not only buy out existing OEMs, but suppress prospective startups.

You're right, a better analogy would be if the Lakers stood outside the Celtics' stadium all next year and paid people not to go in. And continued this practice for a decade until the Celtics were so poor they could only afford d-league players. And then claimed they were beating the Celtics because they had better coaching.


By Reclaimer77 on 6/9/2008 12:13:03 AM , Rating: 2
I don't need you to explain the situation to me, thank you. But people are trying to make this bigger than it is. Why do you think the fines have been so low ? 25mil is peanuts.

You can hold Intel accountable for unfair practices. What I'm saying however, is that you cannot heap AMD's current situation and problems on Intel.

Basically, AMD has been trying to play catch-up to Intel for a few decades now, and everything they have attempted - having better products, doing large marketing campaigns, etc., have not worked.

This perfectly illustrates what I'm saying. Intel has NOT been " cheating " AMD for decades. And you are only listing the things AMD has done right. I notice you left everything they have done WRONG off your list.

Hold Intel accountable, fine. Blaming them for AMD's problems in the market is just petty. The simple fact is the better product does not always win in a free market.

Bose is a perfect example. Their speakers, especially their all in one stereos are pure garbage. Yet they have a huge market share with massive customer retention and loyalty. Why ? The consumer doesn't know any better. Bose has marketed themselves masterfully. Just like Intel marketed the Pentium 4. Do you think the majority of the consumer base knew it was " inferior " to AMD ?

By rudolphna on 6/9/2008 10:15:57 AM , Rating: 2
Do you remember when Intel switched over to 180nm? They had extreme supply shortages. The Pentium III was in short supply for a long time, because intel had issues with its production lines.

RE: If this is what it takes, so be it.
By BansheeX on 6/8/08, Rating: 0
RE: If this is what it takes, so be it.
By kc77 on 6/8/2008 4:57:24 PM , Rating: 1
A monopoly CAN'T control prices. You CANNOT be forced into a buying a product unless government dictates such with your money (subsidy).
Did you really just say that??? Somewhere in your post you make a comment that one of my statements was idiotic and you say this....WOW....OMG ..LOL LOL LOL LOL I was really going to go toe to toe with you on your post but to say something that refutes the Webster dictionary that takes a level of chutzpah that I really haven't seen in ages. Do you lobby for Microsoft or something??? Man...LOL
A monopoly CAN'T control prices.

There really isn't away to have reasonable dialog with you. I understand that now....I can't converse with someone who refutes the dictionary and often times bounces in and out of a metaphoric economic acid trip while eschewing reality only to shout "socialism" and "free market" and expect diminished sensibilities to constitute an acceptable form of reinforcement.

Man I was about to go into hedge markets, Enron and a whole host of things....
A monopoly CAN'T control prices.
LOL LOL LOL I mean how do you argue with that ??!?

By aebiv on 6/15/2008 6:52:43 PM , Rating: 2
Were you really born that blind to capitalism?

A monopoly will not survive in a free market society, but in this ever more regulated and socialistic economy we are building here in the United States, we keep thinking the government needs to come in and rule every aspect of our lives.

I'm sorry, America was not founded that way, and will face even worse atrophy if this is allowed to proceed.

Your post is about as intelligent as a 5th graders, and even that is a slam to some of the 5th graders I've known.

By Locutus465 on 6/8/2008 11:32:58 AM , Rating: 2
Well, hopefully this will give AMD some breathing room to catch up, though they have a lot of catching up to do now. I think they've sat on their CPU archetecture too long, now that they have a platform I think AMD needs to shift some focus back to Phenom and optimising it (or perhaps a new arch). I think there's quite a lot AMD can yet do with the archetecture, they have yet to fully optimise it and they were already getting in the ball park with core (my AMD Phenom 4x 9850 is killer). If they can "open up" phenom a bit more I think they can minimize the advantage of Intel's new processor and take advantage of their new platform more effectivly.

Hopefully while doing this they'll stick with AM2+ :)

By eye smite on 6/9/2008 3:34:08 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you on that. Intel is just getting to reap all the seeds it's sewn now.

By ChoadNamath on 6/7/2008 11:58:39 PM , Rating: 5
It's really frustrating that slow-moving government agencies have taken so long to actually act on this. Now Intel has a more dominant position that is actually based on a superior product, so it makes AMD's claims sound like they're just sour grapes. I'm all for rooting for the underdog, but AMD really needs to put out a better product if they want to compete again.

RE: Timing
By rsmech on 6/8/2008 12:26:52 AM , Rating: 3
AMD really needs to put out a better product if they want to compete again.

They tried that once with little avail. If & I mean if Intel abused their market lead what good is a new & better product. If this is what happened we learn it does little. On the other hand maybe it's just superior marketing, look at Apple. Are they really that superior or just better marketers.

RE: Timing
By Ringold on 6/8/2008 3:55:46 AM , Rating: 4
If this is what happened we learn it does little.

It appears to me that for as long as the good times lasted, AMD steadily picked away at Intel's leadership.

If AMD had managed to remain competitive, I have no doubt they'd of succeeded. To expect instant success for any company is a little wild; some companies stick with vendors out of familiarity if for no other reason, and mentalities have to be changed.

In the above link though, doom was already on the horizon, with the noting of Intel's C2D's being announced.

I think the OP had it right. If AMD wants to continue to be a company with a viable business then they must create a competitive product, or seek profit elsewhere. No sympathetic FTC chairman, no sympathetic judge, no sympathetic world government has the ability to hand AMD on a golden platter a superior CPU design. Even tons of money wouldn't automatically create success, designs take years to percolate. It might make AMD fans feel better if Intel were slapped with huge fines, but if their products suck, and AMD can't right its sinking ship, then its destiny remains unchanged. Lawyers are not an acceptable replacement for actual revenue from product sales.

RE: Timing
By SlyNine on 6/8/2008 4:10:12 AM , Rating: 3
The question isn't , Will this help AMD. The question is were the *Anti Competitive* practices of Intel back when AlthonXP and P4 were dukeing it out the reason AMD was never able to take a real foothold. It's what Intel did back then that they need to look at.

To simply say the market stuck with Intel because they were familair is to invalidate this whole thing with out even looking at it.

I'm not saying that Intel will loose or AMD needs to be handed anything except maybe if they do produce another competitive product, They have a fair chance to compete. If Intel was indeed doing somthing wrong and have changed their ways.

I waited and waited for AMD to come out with somthing but as nothing was competitive with the Q6600 ( I overclock witch makes the choice even more loop sided) I had no good option other then Intel, That and I had 2 8800GT's that need a good SLI home.

RE: Timing
By Ringold on 6/8/2008 4:40:54 AM , Rating: 2
I don't mean to invalidate the whole thing, but I will doubt Intel did anything that seriously hindered AMD until either the FTC or EU rules as such. By seriously hindered I mean by doing something that resulted in AMD's current red-ink soaked quarterly reports; currently 5.2 billion in debt and -358m net income in Q1. An improvement from Q4, where their net income was -3.3 billion! They sound like General Motors, maybe Toyota dealerships are engaging in illegal activities? Indeed, GM reinforces my assertion that market share is 'sticky', as GM's products sucked for a long time before now coming down to where they are today.

I also just meant to point out that nothing can save AMD if they don't put out a decent product. In the end, that is all that matters. Fighting over what happened in the Athlon XP or 64 and P4 days will provide excellent material for historians but resolution one way or the other in the court room can do very, very little to change the "facts on the ground" today and moving forward, so to speak. As Ceasar would say, alea iacta est! The die is cast.

RE: Timing
By just4U on 6/8/2008 5:12:54 AM , Rating: 2
also just meant to point out that nothing can save AMD if they don't put out a decent product.

They have decent products "right now" just .. Intel has better. Make no mistake those Phenoms of their's are excellent cpu's. I bought a X3 Phenom a few weeks back (out of curiousity) and the performance difference between that and my Intel Quad core setup isn't really noticable at stock speeds.

RE: Timing
By rsmech on 6/9/2008 11:12:54 PM , Rating: 2
I also just meant to point out that nothing can save AMD if they don't put out a decent product.

How do you put out a decent product? Maybe past revenues would help. The suit is not about today. The only question for today is "IF" there was wrong-doing where would AMD be today with more revenue from the past to work with. There is nothing wrong with selling more because you have a better product or even selling more because of name recognition. But if it's because you make questionable exclusives then there may be issues. The courts will decide which was the case.

Maybe good, maybe bad....
By lexluthermiester on 6/8/2008 12:49:49 AM , Rating: 2
As much of an Intel fan I am, AMD has always been my favorite underdog in the chip market, and for a while they were top dog. Intel, as of late, doesn't seem to have been pulling any funny business. But back when the P4/Athlon wars were in full swing, there were those within Intel that were up to no good. I fully believe that Intel should be held responsible for any unlawful actions it was involved in, but I more firmly believe that the people who made those decisions should be held just as responsible. Of course this is very subjective given that the full fact have yet to come to light, and if the FTC is going to go after Intel, then it would stand to reason that Microsoft should also be held responsible for it's misbehaviors.

In any case I have always loved AMD and their fans for making Intel push for excellence, all the while providing excellence themselves. AMD's current line of CPU's may not be the top performers, but that in no way makes them any less attractive, considering that they seem to be priced right and are very power efficient for the speeds they run at.

Hopefully, the FTC is not on a witch hunt and if Intel needs to be given reprimand for wrong doing then it should be reasonable.

NOTE TO INTEL: If the FTC issues you a fine, pay and move on. Don't do like Microsoft is doing with the E.U.. If it is found that you have done wrong, own up to it and act in a responsible and dignified fashion. Locking heads with the FTC will achieve nothing, except perhaps increase your fines...

RE: Maybe good, maybe bad....
By crystal clear on 6/8/2008 10:16:26 AM , Rating: 2
This is nothing new for Intel,read this

For Release: March 17, 1999
FTC Accepts Settlement of Charges Against Intel
Agreement Would Resolve Commission's Complaint that World's Largest Microprocessor Manufacturer Cut Off Customers in Order to Stifle Competition and Impede Innovation

Intel has over the years acquired/developed legal expertize & experience in dealing with investigating agencies/bodies from the USA to E.U. to S Korea & Japan etc.

Even New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has opened an investigation into Intel’s business practices and is trying to determine whether the chip maker abused its market position by forcing customers to buy its microprocessors instead of those made by Advanced Micro Devices.

So its business as usual as these cases/hearings drag on for years until some settlement is reached as it has lost all relevance/importance to public interest.

RE: Maybe good, maybe bad....
By Master Kenobi on 6/8/2008 10:55:58 AM , Rating: 2
Intel has learned from Microsoft that you can beat the government at its own game. Just requires an ace legal team and lobbyists.

RE: Maybe good, maybe bad....
By JarredWalton on 6/8/2008 11:25:43 AM , Rating: 2
More to the point, consider some of the fines leveled against Intel. Korea hits them with a $25 million fine for paying companies $37 million to not buy AMD. Let's put it this way: unless the penalties move Intel into the red for the past four or five years, it really doesn't matter that they fine Intel. All they're really doing is saying, "Bad Intel... you forgot to pay us our share of the bribes!"

On a different note, does anyone REALLY think that the US is going to nail one of its more successful companies with major fines and penalties? That's why California does nothing, and why I would expect Washington to ignore complaints against Microsoft. The US isn't really leading in a lot of technology areas, but at least we still make the fastest CPUs. If they come down too hard on Intel, that could change - not overnight, but in a few years. And this is again why we'll see at best a slap on the wrist to Intel. I'd imagine that when all is said and done, Intel will pay more in legal fees than they'll pay directly to AMD.

By crystal clear on 6/9/2008 2:34:27 AM , Rating: 2
Intel will pay more in legal fees than they'll pay directly to AMD.

Point to note both the parties Intel/AMD are paying huge legal/expenses,but the difference being Intel can afford to live with it ,whilst AMD cannot afford such luxories.

Given the critical situation AMD is in - all these legal expenses come at the expense of R&D,profits etc

AMD without a huge R&D budget is a dead company !

Those well publicized dismissals/resignations of AMD employees from top to down are people who are abondoning a sinking ship,who leave AMD to seek a stable/profitable company to work for.

As for your quote about Intel paying AMD.......

The Intel/AMD case will take years to see any end to it.

Just an example-

For Release: March 17, 1999
FTC Accepts Settlement of Charges Against Intel
Agreement Would Resolve Commission's Complaint that World's Largest Microprocessor Manufacturer Cut Off Customers in Order to Stifle Competition and Impede Innovation

In this case the companies who filed the complaints against Intel are NO MORE in existance .

They have either gone bankcrupt or been taken over by other companies.

AMD will follow the same route like these companies above.

AMD will eventually be taken over either by a group of venture capitalist/investors/equity fund/technology company/etc.

These buyers motive being to strip AMD of its ASSETS

namely technology/patents/R&D work done/R&D personel/etc to

be used elsewhere.

Then this Intel/AMD case will become non relevant & be closed with some settlement not worth the mention.


AMD should seek a out of court settlement & close this case.

Focus its energies/money on what it does best... "technology" & "survive" !

Just remember-

High end lawyers come at an even/much more higher price !

Words of Wisdom-

Worth paying your R&D staff that money than those lawyers.

RE: Maybe good, maybe bad....
By Regs on 6/9/2008 9:56:56 AM , Rating: 2
You see, this was the mentality for some time now in this administration and ones long past. They think little or no government intervention helps stimulate a free market. I can't argue with that. However there are times when we have to keep a balance. Like Enron and World Com who had CEO's that were only human and broke the law. Government intervention took place, company executives prosecuted, and news laws made to protect the free market and restore confidence in the stock market.

We must fight for a free and balanced market everyday. If not then less small business will emerge, less competition with less choices, and ultimately less jobs to pay for that nice shiny new Q6600.

By crystal clear on 6/9/2008 3:15:31 AM , Rating: 2
Legal teams & lobbyist believe in -

Make yourself necessary to somebody."

How Intel/Microsoft deal with governments -

"They know enough who know how to learn."

In South Korea -

Honesty pays, but it don't seem to pay enough to suit a lot of people."


" The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it."

In governments -

No man is really honest; none of us is above the influence of gain."

As for your & me -

"Honest men fear neither the light nor the dark."

By pauldovi on 6/8/2008 12:51:50 AM , Rating: 1
In the US anti-trust laws are based around the consumer where-as European ones are based around the company. The FCT will find that consumers are not being hurt by Intel's position and will determine no laws are being broken.

RE: Important
By oab on 6/8/2008 1:07:04 AM , Rating: 2
I was hurt by not being able to buy a brand I liked with a superior performance processor when Intel paid Dell the "customer retention" bonuses for not selling AMD products.

ahh, who am I kidding, I haven't bought a name-brand desktop since '99

RE: Important
By ATWindsor on 6/8/2008 2:04:02 AM , Rating: 2
It really shouldn't make a diffrence (in theory at least), if you use the dominating position to hurt the other companies in other ways than having the best product (or hampering the free competition as I like to see it), it will hurt the customers also. Hurting the free compettition IS hurting the customer.

RE: Important
By Ringold on 6/8/2008 4:21:46 AM , Rating: 2
The FCT will find that consumers are not being hurt by Intel's position and will determine no laws are being broken.

Notice all the M&A activity lately? The Economist, WSJ, and I think IBD have all noted the possibility that the next administration may not take the traditional US position on such matters, including anti-trust. If AMD can keep the issue alive and pray for an Obama victory, then its possible Obama appointees may take a position far closer to the European market-interventionist position than what we've had previously.

That's my speculation at least, as it makes a bit of sense. Even a McCain White House still would have a hostile Senate to get appointees past, so from the perspective of a rent-seeking corporation, that may bode well. If anyone doubts that Democrats would play politics with such an comission and its policies, they need only to look at Dodd and his blatant assault in the Fed Reserve's political independence, only the second such violation I'm aware of since 1951. (The last time was Carter appointing Miller, who put us on the course to hyperinflation before Carter wised up and appointed Volcker)

AMD helped MAKE intel
By 3dWings on 6/8/2008 11:09:29 AM , Rating: 2
I work as an engineer and have worked for some sizable companies. A policy of many of these companies it to source components that have a SECOND source.

IBM had a similar policy in the early 80s when the PC was born. Were it not for the fact that AMD made (albeit under licence) 8086 and 80286 processors as a second source intel would still be making memory as a primary source of income.

The derivitive processors, AMD 386 and 486 were clones of the intel parts and were directly comparable. AMD ran both those parts at faster clock speeds.

Here the fanboys differ, the 5x86 and 6x86 were howver no real match for the P11 and P111.

The first Athlon however kicked intel's P111 butt. A quote of a magazine atricle from that time described the "Best P111 is an AMD Athlon" (600). The P111 never really caught up as the Pentium Pro core was stretched.

Came the willamette core, it was horrendous, even the fanbois will acknowledge that. Northwood lifted the P4 cache and clock speeds and for a short while lifted performance from the Athlon... until the k8... which was top till the Core 2 architecture.

AMD has a case in so far as.... During the time of the athlon and the K8 there were times when AMD was clearly better performing. In a truly free market PC makers should have been flocking to these parts. They didn't. The documents that have been requested/ordered will hopefully prove collusion to the satisfaction of the USA and EU authorities. Documents have been taken to prove that in other parts of the world.

I am not anti intel, i am not pro AMD but the development of the chips we know and love in our PCs and MACs are the product of competition from the early 90s when AMD, CYRIX and intel began fighting for supremacy.

Without an AMD or equivalent the PC would be half the speed and twice the price.

Intel may not need AMD, consumers do.

RE: AMD helped MAKE intel
By Reclaimer77 on 6/8/08, Rating: -1
RE: AMD helped MAKE intel
By stonemetal on 6/8/2008 6:48:53 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah but they wouldn't have invested in research for improvements in manufacturing technology if there hadn't been competition. That stuff doesn't just fall from the sky. Why would they spend money if they didn't have to.

RE: AMD helped MAKE intel
By Belard on 6/9/2008 1:54:42 PM , Rating: 2

With no competition, you can set your own price. Yeah, sure - when there is a NEW chip, they cost more money to help cover costs - but also, customers are willing to pay the premo price for it. Look at the iPhone. P3 800Mhz was about $1000 brand new. Yet intel brought out the C2Duo at $300 or so. AMD dropped their prices overnight. Good for us in many ways. Intel wanted to hurt AMD and they did it. If the C2Duo was a $1000, it would not have taken over the market. Of course Intel had to kill off its silly $1000 Pentium4 Extreme Editions.

If Microsoft had only 40~50% of the desktop business, they'd be battling with a $40~80 OS. When Windows3.x was new - it was about $100. It was always a crappy FAKE OS (It ran ontop of MS-DOS which itself was $30~50) While AmigaOS was a $30~40 package, it had a far limited market yet it gave the customers a lot more over DOS or Windows3.

So we have Vista today that is $225 in a retail box... and people grumble when they buy it.

The 8800GT was up to $300 because of such high demand - When the ATI 3870 came out at $225, people were buying that card. Not both cards are about $150. The 8800GTX/GTs-640/320 never came down in price because (A) ATI had nothing to touch it (B) Nvidia had no mid-range card worth buying. Competition for the $250 market KILLED the $600 video card. Competition for that demographic brought prices down.

Hey, if I owned a company that made a device that nobody else could make, why would I want to sell it cheap? I'd sell for as much as the market will bear.

I'm surprised.........
By Domicinator on 6/8/2008 11:17:16 AM , Rating: 5
......that Jason Mick didn't spin this into something pro Intel, since he's usually such a Mac zealot and they're now using Intel processors.

But that's not why I posted. I posted because I want some hard numbers that show that many Americans don't know that monopolies are illegal. Give me some proof, Mickey. You should just stick to the things that are news and not fabricate stats and make your opinions sound like they are facts. And last time I checked, Intel isn't a monopoly. AMD was gaining ground on them, and then Intel came out with some amazing products that AMD simply just can't keep up with. Lawsuit or no lawsuit, Intel is not a monopoly.

And yes, someone will reply to my post saying that this website is supposed to be more of a blog and Mick's ridiculous articles are what gets hits for the website, and blah blah blah. Well, here's my problem with that logic: This site promotes itself as a news site. As long as Mick is writing articles for them, I'm going to consider it no better than the Inquirer.

It seems that the EU is not alone?
By Hare on 6/8/2008 1:01:27 PM , Rating: 5
Go back a few months and the comments were filled with EU bashing. I wonder what these people think now that the US is also "a bunch of money hungry communists"? :)

About time
By wordsworm on 6/8/2008 2:22:55 AM , Rating: 2
I'm glad to see that finally something's going to be done about Intel's practices. I figure the best argument has been that AMD couldn't produce chips fast enough to supply the market even if Intel hadn't interfered. However, had their chips been available to the likes of Dell, AMD would have had the chance to sell their highest end processors for a high price. As it was, they maintained their low-end image by being denied these markets. Greater demand would have driven up the price of their processors and therefore increased their profit margins.

Anyways, hopefully AMD will find a way to get a few billion in compensation to help them in their time of need.

RE: About time
By mmatis on 6/8/2008 12:06:51 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I doubt that AMD would get much $$$ from any of the fines that MIGHT be imposed on Intel. I suspect those $$$ would instead just go to improve the quality of Michelle's ceviche. AMD will have to sue Intel to get real money, but that does become easier if Uncle proves illegal activity.

Interesting imagry in the Intel Amd Saga
By just4U on 6/8/2008 4:52:01 AM , Rating: 1
For some reason I think of this picture that I saw awhile back after reading all this. It brings to mind the uphill battle that Amd faced and the length's Intel would go to win..

The picture was of a special olympic's child running on a dirt road towards some finish line with a look of triumph on his face. Little did he know that behind him there was a massive offroad Rally car barreling towards him and the word own3d prominant in the background.

Not sure if I should post a link or not.. since it is in poor taste.. ah what the hell.. My apologies to those it may offend.

By glennpratt on 6/8/2008 5:09:31 PM , Rating: 2
Offensive, ignorant and childish. I would be ashamed for posting that.

Nothing to be happy about
By crystal clear on 6/8/2008 7:32:19 AM , Rating: 3
the company finally had some good news to be happy about.

Here you refer to AMD but in reality this is no good news to be happy about....

This does not solve AMD's problems namely the debt crisis,low revenues,its inability to compete with Intel products,its inability to deliver products on time to the market from R&D to manufacturing.low profit margins on its products in the market,& more.....

AMD should be/must be preoccupied with itself to put its own house in order & ignore all those Intel investigations & legal matters.

Stick to their Roadmaps religiously & deliver on time.

Intel's legal problems are NO blessing in disguise for AMD & nor does it stand to gain from it.

Rather AMD should regain its marketshare/profitshare/drastically increase its revenues with a good product lineup.

AMD's hopes of breaking even is a tough objective to achieve under current conditions.

Intel has all the financial resources to sort out its legal problems & its beoome a routine matter for them.

Frankly AMD needs somebody like Icahn to replace all those rusted parts in its management machine.

To get a clue of what coming,read this for a starter....

Growth Fund completely dumped all -13,400,000 shares they owned of Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD) as shown by filings made public on 2008-05-29.

The stock is currently owned by 400 funds/institutions with a total activity score of -0.15. With 44.35 % of owning funds reported recently buying shares, 9.13 % maintaining existing share level and 46.50 % selling shares. Full details for Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD) available at

Thats a lot of shares to dump for a starter.......

So AMD better focus on its self & its product line up & not get carried away by some legal development.

By dever on 6/8/2008 12:59:00 PM , Rating: 1
FTC... supervises free trade

RE: Oxymoron
By marvdmartian on 6/9/2008 11:05:57 AM , Rating: 2
Isn't it ironic, though?

Deborah P. Majoras, the previous chair

How similar her name is, to MAJOR ASS??? ;)

Bad memory gone wild
By gochichi on 6/8/2008 6:15:55 PM , Rating: 3
Intel did have inferior products, and DELL for one, sure as heck wanted to offer AMD products but could not do so at the expense of its primary supplier. Dell would have had to basically switch 100% to AMD.

The Pentium 4 was an underperformer. AMD was first to market with dual-core, first to market with 64-bit as well.

I think we tend to think of Intel today when we think about "crappy or not" products. Their new products are very good and very well priced. They should have focused on that from the very beginning rather than wasting efforts stalling progress for which I'm sure they'll pay (at least partly). Paying a huge company $37 million for exclusivity means that not only is AMD getting screwed but that large OEMs are being placed in an above and beyond advantage (they are already in a natural advantage to begin with)... Zinxiu electronics has to pay Intel full price for stuff and gets no pay out for exclusivity. Zinxiu stays small or dissappears due to unfair practices. So Intel's illegal practices not only hurts its direct competitor but Samsungs competitor as well. If we trully believe that this is "OK" then we are saying that a small club of priviledged companies have the right to make electronics while others simply have no right.

I am surprised that the ruling wasn't more like a $25 million dollar fine, plus a $100 million dollar in damages to AMD. If Intel had $37 mill to give away, $25 mill seems like a slap on the rist.

I am hoping for AMD getting some cash from Intel from their previous bad practices. I think it's what would be best for the long term. I think Intel is now a big boy, playing more fairly and with better products than ever. I think AMD is getting there, and a positive settlement would allow them to end their infancy and polish up like Intel has. These two companies could be very good competition with each other, and I don't doubt that VIA could make great products in the future as well (I too remember terrible VIA chipsets, though I'm sure I use many tiny VIA chips on a day to day basis).

Intel stalled progress for 5 years or more, locking themselves down to "Moore's law" (meaning slowing progress to not surpass it) and playing clocking games rather than improving actual performance.

By Fronzbot on 6/8/2008 12:59:26 AM , Rating: 2
As much as I prefer Intel chip (mainly due to pricing to be completely honest), I am really rooting for AMD to win this one (or, rather, Intel to lose) because without proper competition in the market, we will be forced with whatever Intel throws at us and I don't know about you all, but I'd much rather have to choose between two companies rather than two chips made by the same company.

Though I'm waiting until the photon computers to come out- shouldn't be much longer now! :p

Not surprising
By Khato on 6/8/08, Rating: 0
RE: Not surprising
By Ringold on 6/8/2008 4:55:09 AM , Rating: 2
Their counterpart in other countries claim that there's a problem - it kinda looks bad if they don't at least make a public announcement of their investigation.

The FTC has given the thumbs up to a lot of deals and market situations in recent history that the EU has choked on. We have had our own anti-trust positions and have never been ashamed of it previously, I don't know why they'd start being ashamed now.

The article did point out they have a new chairman though, and with a new chairman could come a new agenda, so it could still be politically motivated as you said.

By DeltaZero on 6/8/2008 1:16:16 PM , Rating: 2
the total market for microprocessors racked up $225 billion in sales last year

In the desktop sector, where DAAMIT still is able to complete, the revenue per chip is close to nothing. However in the mobile sector, where most of the money is, they have close to nothing...

By jediknight on 6/8/2008 7:17:31 PM , Rating: 2
Core 2 and Nehalem are simply better than anything AMD has to offer, or will have within the next year. That's all there is to it.

2 Quick Points
By JakLee on 6/9/2008 1:08:50 PM , Rating: 2
I think there is a little misunderstanding on what is being claimed as "unfair" practices. This isn't a case of Intel paying a company to use only Intel product.
1. The illegal part of this is that Intel paid companies not to use AMD. Subtle difference but important. That means other smaller companies (like via for example) could still sell products to these other companies (since they were not a threat in either performance or size/capabilities) to Intel.
2. It becomes unfair when Intel uses its size to an UNFAIR advantage. A deal with Dell for example that says if you go exclusive Intel we will give you 10% reduction on Intel processors is fair. Saying if you don't take the deal we won't sell you ANY Intel processors is unfair.

US is not unique ...
By emboss on 6/8/2008 1:40:26 AM , Rating: 1
"U.S. laws do allow monopolies, unlike elsewhere, but forbid companies with a monopoly from using its dominance to restrict competition."

Offhand, I can't actually think of a place that doesn't allow monopolies. The US is pretty much like every other country in the world in that market dominance per se is not punishable, but companies with market dominance are under additional restrictions as to what they can do with their power.

The only difference between countries is what constitutes a market dominance and what additional restrictions they must comply with. And, of course, how ... flexible ... the legal and political systems are to those with money.

Intel 2001-2005...
By Donkey2008 on 6/8/08, Rating: 0
it's becoming ridiculous
By pjtomtai on 6/8/08, Rating: -1
RE: it's becoming ridiculous
By kyleb2112 on 6/8/2008 2:16:41 AM , Rating: 2
You haven't been hurt because Intel wasn't a monopoly. The hurting starts when they've got no competitors and you have no other choice.

RE: it's becoming ridiculous
By dragonbif on 6/9/2008 4:26:29 PM , Rating: 2
If you have been keeping up on this you would find the biggest problem is in the OEM market. AMD did not really get into the OEM's such as Dell or HP until 2006. Before that it was all Intel, and Dell even sued Intel because they were keeping them from using other CPUs such as AMD. From the allegations you find that Intel was using incentives to OEMs to only use their possessors such as big discounts, free mobos and who knows what else. That would make them a monopoly because they are keeping other manufactures from selling their product (even though at one point AMD was better).
Here is the big point; if AMD could not sell CPUs because Intel was blocking them then AMD could not make the money it needed to for research and development. That is how you slowly kill any potential competition, keep them from the money and let them age and die.

By SiliconAddict on 6/8/2008 2:17:05 AM , Rating: 5
Actually the P4 is a perfect example of being hurt by Intel. Just because the consumer was so ignorant of what was going on with Intel, and the MHZ race, doesn't mean that they weren't being fed horseshit. And at the end of the day while a CPU will still run any OS or program the fact that in some cases Intel's latest P4's were being bitchslapped by older processors suggests that there WAS something wrong.

RE: it's becoming ridiculous
By SlyNine on 6/8/2008 2:44:56 AM , Rating: 4
Actully it wasnt untill Northwood B came out and then it was only by a little bit, Then Northwood C came out and rocked, but shortly later Clawhammer came out and cleaned clock.

So you have the whole 1ghz-2ghz race being DOMINATED by AMD, from the thunderbird core to around the 2500 Barton, and then AMD took over agian with Clawhammer.

See the thing you dont relieze is that we do not know what AMD would have out now if they had the money to do the R&D that Intel had. Money that it doesnt have BECAUSE of Intels anti competitive ways.

RE: it's becoming ridiculous
By xsilver on 6/8/08, Rating: -1
RE: it's becoming ridiculous
By Adonlude on 6/9/2008 12:50:16 PM , Rating: 2
Preech on brother! I know that showing support for Intel here is asking for an instant -1 rating but I just think it is wrong to punish the big guy just because he is richer, bigger, and better in every way.

This is typical government/socialist thinking: cripple the strong to support the weak, such is not the way of nature. Maybe we should venture out into the jungle, find all the lions, and break one of their legs so the prey can have a chance.

AMD should change their slogan to "AMD, The People's Processor Company" because that is the mantra they promote and it is what keeps their company alive in the court room but not in the retail outlet. AMD was born in the court room. They came into this world by suing Intel, now they will stay alive the same way.

RE: it's becoming ridiculous
By pjtomtai on 6/8/08, Rating: 0
RE: it's becoming ridiculous
By SlyNine on 6/8/2008 5:26:05 AM , Rating: 3
Sorry man but Thunderbird was the basic design of the Althon XP's, And they TRUMPED your P4's right up tell Northwood, And Northwood A core did not beat the the Althon XP's it simply matched performence. Barton was such a great deal because the 2500XP like many of todays intels can be clocked much higher.

I remember the first day I got the 2500XP I had it running on stock cooling at 3200speeds. Then when I put the Volcano 11 HSF on it the horrable sound of the crunch, that was the exposed Athlon XP cores.

RE: it's becoming ridiculous
By AnnihilatorX on 6/8/2008 7:44:04 AM , Rating: 2
Thunderbird was a direct competitor to P4 Willamette, the first P4 that came out with performance inferior to P3, moe expensive due to RD RAM, and was hotter than even Thunderbird.

RE: it's becoming ridiculous
By just4U on 6/8/2008 4:04:31 AM , Rating: 2
Seems to me, all those law suits or investigations are AMD's baby crying

Amd would most likely be in a very different position right now if Intel had played fair. Most (I think) agree that Intel employed some really underhanded tactics to keep doors closed for AMD. Can't do that sort of thing and expect to get away with it..

I see it like this. AMD has always been somewhere down in a deep well trying to climb out into the light of day. Kinda hard to do that when Intel is at the top cutting the rope.

RE: it's becoming ridiculous
By Belard on 6/8/2008 6:59:51 AM , Rating: 5
all my previous Intel products had a faily good price/performance even in P4 era, Northwood was the top performer at that time

Actually, you HAVE been hurt by intel and helped by AMD. Before AMD became competitive with Intel with the start of the K7 & Thunderbird CPUs (Problem was more chipsets then CPU) - High End Intel CPUs were typically $700~1000. A good example is the PentiumII 400Mhz, which was a $900CPU. My P3-866Mhz CPU was about $600 - and was my LAST Intel chip. Just before Core2Duo came out, AMD was grabbing market share quite a bit. The P4 was always being bitch-slapped by the AMD64 and the XP line as well. So without AMD, today's top end CPU would be a 3Ghz P4 at $1000.

The first P4s were slower than the P3... but hey, you got the 1.4Ghz CPU!

If you could locate OLDER CPU charts - You would find for general and gaming that even intel's EXTREME Edition ($1000) CPU was on part with AMD's $250~300 CPU... 2-3 years ago. The ONLY place that the P4 was faster was in Rendering video... you know like DIVX files. That's it.

So when Core2Duo came out, it was cheaper than AMD and finally faster... Core2Duo is based off of the Centrino chips used in notebooks. Its closer in design of an AMD chip than the P4.

Anyways - during the 3+ years that AMD had the faster chip, Intel used their muscle to keep AMD out of Dell. (Dell is being sued by their own stock holders for doing this deal)

So imagine, what AMD could do if they were selling MORE CPUs, making more profit? They'd have a higher R&D budget to remain competitive. But here is the BS as well... While Core2 is faster than AMD in general - Some AMD's are faster than Core2 at some price points. Unlike the P4 which was WAY WAY slower than AMD64s.

Intel has their own share of screw ups. The thing is, they are SO big - they were able to sell their HOT & crappy P4 chips to their customers... an inferiour product outsold a better one. it was Funny to see these kids post "I have a 3.6Ghz Pentium EE CHip" - Yeah, so what? I spend 1/3 the amount of money and still faster than you.

So... to build that TOP end Intel Quad core that smokes AMD - its about $3500... compared to a $1200 AMD Quad core. With simular motherboard and parts (PCIe 2.0, etc) A low/mid-range QuadCore Intel is about $300~700 more. (I'm not being specific on a parts list - just based on a quote I gave someone to choose from Newegg) IE: The cost to build an Intel Quad core that is 10seconds faster to render a 3D frame or 10-15fps faster in a game that is already 100fps is not worth it to many people in value... The money saved could buy a new 24" monitor. ;) Today's QuadCore AMD that renders a 3D frame in about 40secs is a lot faster than a 2-3year old AMD 3200 or P4 taking 300~400seconds.

RE: it's becoming ridiculous
By pjtomtai on 6/8/2008 8:57:46 AM , Rating: 2
"$3500 Intel Quad vs. $1200 AMD"? you gonna be kidding. Where do you live? A complete Q6600 build costs under $1000, and smashs any AMD "true" quad. Pls be honest.

I don't pro any side, and believe me I know whether I've been hurt by any company, Intel or AMD. I said it again, the only good product AMD ever offered was K8. I enjoyed my X2 3800 for a while, although the enjoyment faded quickly, and at an expensive price, until I got my e6400. Now I'm at Q66 and looking forward to Nehalem. BTW, I was truly terrified by the price AMD charged for FX60, although I didn't go up to that, my fondness of AMD at K8 era was gone completely.

I truly believe if the position of Intel and AMD was reversed, if AMD was the big guy, I would have been "hurt" much more. So far, Intel's treated me good, well, for most of the time (Pentium 66 and P4E were bad).

Anyway take care.
~from 486DX2 to Q6600~

RE: it's becoming ridiculous
By DragonFire on 6/8/2008 3:46:57 PM , Rating: 2
And this is where your argument falls apart.

Improvements in manufacturing technology and processes of the CPU have lead to Intel's better pricing. Not competition.

You are an idiot if you think that. Because Apple refused to let outside companies build parts for there macs back in the 80-90's, the mac never took off compared to the PC. If Intel had no competition, they could sell that new Q6600 you got for $1200 and get it away it, if Intel had no one around like AMD to keep them on there toes we would be on 486's still playing Doom because Intel would say "they don't need faster"

Just like they(Intel) said we didn't need 64-bit, well guess what, I was hopping to have flying cars by now, I don't want to be told I can't have one because they don't think I need one.....

I truly believe if the position of Intel and AMD was reversed, if AMD was the big guy, I would have been "hurt" much more. So far, Intel's treated me good, well, for most of the time (Pentium 66 and P4E were bad).

I truly believe that if the positions were reversed, Intel would not be in the same mess as AMD because AMD would not have done the same "type" of backstabbing. Also, AMD would have had something better out then even the Q6600 is now if the positions were reversed.

Intel improved there SSE because AMD came out with 3DNow, I realize 3DNow is based on SSE, however it showed Intel that if they didn't improve another company was going to pass them up. Intel went to 64-bit only because AMD, Intel doesn't think we need it? Who the hell are they to decided what this world needs. As I said I was hopping for flying cars by now. AMD puts the memory controller on die, oh gee look what intel is doing now.

Sorry but powerful companies like Intel hold us back in my mind and we need companies like AMD around to at the least make a big noise causing said powerful companies to be knocked down a bit from time to time.

RE: it's becoming ridiculous
By Belard on 6/8/2008 4:12:36 PM , Rating: 1
No... .I said a TOP end Intel Quad system vs a Top end AMD is about $3500 vs $1200 for very much the same parts. (IE: HDs 2x 1TB drives, gigabyte board with PCIe 2.0, 4GB of RAM)

AMD 780G board = $100~135 ($135 = 790 chipset)
Intel X48 board = $260~350
4GB DDR3 = $300 (intel top end)
4GB DDR2 = $100

AMD Quad (unlocked) = $235
Intel Q Extreme = $1500+

The Popular Q6600 on par with AMD's top end, still costs a bit more when you factor in the motherboard and cost of chip.

No competition = we lose. Doesn't matter if its AMD, Intel, Nvidia or Microsoft. Because MS owns about 90% of the desktop business, they rip people off charging $220 for the Vista Home Prem (retail) - sure you can buy the Upgrade for $125, but if anything is messed up on your current XP or you have to do a fresh re-install, its a pain in the butt. Apple charges $120 for their OS, and its 1 version. Not basic, premo, business, Ultimate - not OEM, Upgrade, Retail... just 1 box, simple. You can upgrade or do a clean install with it. Or what if you want to upgrade 3 XP computers home PCs to Vista... Ouch, that's $370~400 Apple charges $170 for a 5 user Home licence. (We won't touch Linux on this one).

Because Nvidia had no competition - they sold 8800 cards for $400~600. Nowadays, we're getting steals with $150 cards from both AMD & Nvidia with great products. 9 months ago, you'd have to pay $200 for a crappy 8600gts if you couldn't afford the $300 8800GT or $400-500 8800GTs/GTX cards. And in the next month or so - we'll have NEW cards from both camps.

Without AMD Kicking Intel in the balls with better AMD64 CPUs (which are NOT bad chips - they got old, yet they are ACTUALLY quite good by todays standards compared to lower end Core2s and any P4 tech CPU) - there would be NO CORE 2 CPUs.

You are NOT feeling the pain of Intel because AMD has been around doing good things.

You're welcome.

PS: I've look at intel for my next box. I'll save about $250 going with AMD setup that is just as fast. But my X2 3800 is still running quite good, not as instant as the new PCs I build. But my notebook will have an Intel Core2 CPU because that is all Lenovo offers.

RE: it's becoming ridiculous
By DeepBlue1975 on 6/8/2008 9:05:58 PM , Rating: 2
Not a fair comparison at all.

If you compare what a Bugatti Veyron costs (top end performance car by Bugatti) vs what the fastest performance car ford can offer you costs, its a lot of difference, but it is in performance as well.

Pit the phenom against a q6600 that performs a bit better than amd's best (and overclocks even better), use ddr2 instead of ddr3, because AMD does not support it yet and adds almost nothing in performance, and the difference is not that high.

RE: it's becoming ridiculous
By FaceMaster on 6/12/2008 8:15:38 AM , Rating: 2
High end prostitute - £150 a night
Your Mum - Free.

I know which one I'll be choosing!

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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