AMD's Hector Ruiz tells what it's like to compete against an "abusive monopolist"

AMD CEO Hector Ruiz took center stage at the American Antitrust Institute National Conference in Washington, D.C. to express his disdain for Intel’s business practices.

“I want to give you an idea of what it’s like to do business day in and day out when you are competing against an abusive monopolist,” Ruiz told attendees. “How it makes no difference whether you are just as efficient – or even more efficient – than they are.”

“I do not need my fortune teller hat to tell you one truth about which I am absolutely certain,” said Ruiz. “There is no proper or defensible place for illegal monopolies in the 21st century global marketplace... My purpose is not to argue for competitive advantage - we know how to compete. My purpose is to lay out the facts so that law and economics can do their job to protect consumers."

Ruiz did not immediate call out Intel, but rather stated his case first by naming several related companies made possible by the allowance of new entrants. “Google, Microsoft, and computer manufacturers like HP and Dell all owe their existence to the simple fact that competition replaced forced exclusivity and allowed a variety of players to compete and succeed,” he said.

The AMD boss then called out its arch rival, boldly stating, “Intel uses illegal tactics explicitly aimed at preventing customers from doing business with AMD.”

AMD has been battling with Intel in the U.S. courts over what it believes to be anticompetitive practices. Ruiz presented the example of his company’s efforts with HP, where the systems builder feared retribution by Intel if it chose to use AMD processors.

Dell is facing a class action lawsuit from its own investors over “secret and likely illegal” kickbacks by Intel to ensure the exclusive use of its chips inside Dell computers. “Computer manufacturers are dependent upon Intel's ‘rebates’ for a large portion of their razor-thin operating margins and must sacrifice their brand in favor of promoting Intel,” Ruiz adds.

“The IT industry is being held hostage by Intel – a fact that has detrimental effects across the board, and it has gone on for too long,” continues Ruiz. “Customers get hit by less choice and PC manufacturers depend on rebates and "must sacrifice their brand in favour of promoting Intel.”

“I think that is a vision we share, as business leaders, regulators, economists, lawyers, and others dedicated to ensuring fair and open competition in the market. And I believe it is our responsibility – not just to the global economy, but to society as a whole – to make that happen.” Ruiz later concludes, “In an IT industry without an abusive monopoly, computer manufacturers are empowered to flourish because innovation and differentiation are rewarded – rather than be obligated to a single supplier. The benefits are passed on to consumers through lower prices and greater choice in the marketplace.”

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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