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New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo  (Source: Groll/AP)
“We intend to stop them" -- New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo

Intel is no stranger to lawsuits. The company was slapped with a $1.45B USD fine by the EU in May of this year for anticompetitive practices. The charges leveled against Intel mainly focused on illegal methods Intel used to keep AMD from gaining in traction in the marketplace.

At the time, EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes noted that, "[Intel used] used illegal anticompetitive practices to exclude its only competitor and reduce consumers’ choice — and the whole story is about consumers."

The Santa Clara, CA-based company later appealed the ruling with Intel spokesman Chuck Malloy saying, "Our position is that the decision was wrong and we said that from the day it was announced. It was wrong on many levels."

Now it appears that Intel is facing another lawsuit -- this time on its own home soil according to the New York Times. New York attorney general Andrew M. Cuomo is going after Intel this time with a federal antitrust lawsuit. Like the aforementioned EU case, Cuomo asserts that Intel used illegal tactics to stifle AMD.

“Rather than compete fairly, Intel used bribery and coercion to maintain a stranglehold on the market,” said Cuomo. “Intel’s actions not only unfairly restricted potential competitors, but also hurt average consumers who were robbed of better products and lower prices.”

The NYT adds that the state of NY's action against Intel could mean that the FTC could step in as well with charges of its own. "These are separate investigations, but it would be very surprising for New York State to go off on its own without being fairly confident the FTC would pursue Intel as well," a person familiar with the situation told the NYT.

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Selective Memory or Ignorance?
By goz314 on 11/4/2009 1:07:09 PM , Rating: 0
said Cuomo. “Intel’s actions not only unfairly restricted potential competitors, but also hurt average consumers who were robbed of better products and lower prices.”

One key data point the NY AG has conveniently overlooked in his comments to reporters is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which tracks the price/performance of more than 1200 industrial segments. The U.S. Government reports that while prices for most products have increased, microprocessor prices have fallen more rapidly than any other segment's prices—at a rate averaging 36% annually from 2002 to 2007.

RE: Selective Memory or Ignorance?
By Sahrin on 11/4/2009 4:08:48 PM , Rating: 4
One doesn't break the law in a vaccuum. Because a situation is heading in one direction doesn't mean that it can't be impacted by outside factors. CPU Prices fell, that doesn't mean that Intel didn't violate anti-trust laws (regardless of the ultimate market results) - anti-trust laws aren't contingent upon harming the consumer, they're contingent upon harming the marketplace.

RE: Selective Memory or Ignorance?
By dark matter on 11/4/2009 4:13:31 PM , Rating: 2
Are you claiming that in your eyes it doesn't matter what laws or legislation are broken as long as the price of a product is coming down?

Interesting theory of yours, you should pass it on.

RE: Selective Memory or Ignorance?
By Oregonian2 on 11/4/2009 6:19:55 PM , Rating: 2
He appears only to be commenting about Cuomo's statement (that he quoted), and possibly correctly so. Cuomo's statement appears to be a standardized one rather than one about CPU prices.

If anything has driven AMD into the ground, it's Intel's mega-super manufacturing facilities that Intel invested heavily in that can produce massive quantity of chips using industry leading technology processes.

This both allows them to produce mass quantities to be sold as well as doing so at increasingly lower prices. It's the global foundary portion of AMD that Intel had really destroyed in the earlier days, even during that window where for a while AMD had better product. IMO anyway.

RE: Selective Memory or Ignorance?
By hyvonen on 11/5/2009 3:12:53 AM , Rating: 1
True. But that sort of ruins the exciting tabloid story about behind-the-scene deals, threats, bribery, all-around criminal behavior etc.

To me this is AMD whining because they lost the fair fight, and want to tie competitor's arms behind its back to stand a chance.

The link between NY and AMD is so painfully obvious. In exchange for a large investment in New York's ecomony (the fab), they got the state's AG to file a bogus suit against their main competitor. How is this not considered a bribe?

RE: Selective Memory or Ignorance?
By UNCjigga on 11/5/2009 5:09:43 AM , Rating: 3
"lost the fair fight"? Are you serious?

Anyone with a memory of the past 10 years understands that AMD built a superior product (Athlon XP vs. Pentium 4) and from the article it seems that Dell wanted options, but chose not to adopt the Athlon because Intel kept paying them to be exclusive. This action created a huge opportunity cost for AMD--when you can't sell to the number 1 PC maker (based in your hometown no less) you're losing hundreds of millions in revenue.

It'd be one thing if it was a couple million here or there (i.e. legitimate co-marketing and advertising fees) but we're talking BILLIONS in payments. That is monopolistic or collusive behavior and a violation of antitrust law if I ever saw one (granted I'm no expert.) I also don't think Intel deserves all the blame though--Dell is partly at fault for following through with the scheme.

Then you point fingers at NY and AMD for being all buddy-buddy with the new plant--yet you don't think Intel and Dell are at fault? Fanboy much?

RE: Selective Memory or Ignorance?
By hyvonen on 11/5/2009 5:12:41 PM , Rating: 2
AMD had the superior product, but the fight I referred to is the long term fight. Intel invested more into R&D and manufacturing all those, and finally got their collective heads out of their a**es and developed a great product. The end result is that Intel has better performing products that are cheaper to make. AMD cannot compete anymore profitably. THAT's the game AMD lost.

Regarding the alleged crimes, let's just wait for the court to figure it out. You seem to be announcing Intel guilty without giving them a fair chance to defend themselves. I want to give them a fair chance. If the court says Intel was at fault (and Intel's appeal is rejected), that's it. AMD deserves some compensation.

But make no mistake - AMD is in trouble basically because they can't compete with Intel in R&D. Claiming that all this is because Intel was abusing the market doesn't seem entirely fair - that would be like saying all AMD products are flawless, and it's not their fault that they can't make any money.

RE: Selective Memory or Ignorance?
By HrilL on 11/5/2009 7:17:22 PM , Rating: 2
Too bad AMD's been able to make a better CPU For 10 years before the last 2 years. They were blocked out of the market from selling their better CPUs. Had they had access to the market from the start they would have been able to spend lot more on R&D and on Fabs to make more CPUs. You have to see this from long term negative impact not just from 2005 when AMD had hands down the best CPU on the market for 2+ years and could hardly gain traction because they were locked out of a major part of the market for far too long.

Even when Dell finally started to sell AMD they only sold very low end parts like semprons that competed with the celeron. Yeah that's fair when Dell should have been selling Athlon 64 that were the best CPUs on the market.

By Oregonian2 on 11/6/2009 5:39:09 PM , Rating: 2
Although AMD had "better" parts at the low-performance end of the market for a very long time (they earlier couldn't compete at the upper performance end) there's more to competition than just the kind of chip they can design. A lot of the competition also is manufacturing.

If Dell wanted a huge number of chips during those couple years where AMD did indeed have better high end chips in their catalog, could AMD have delivered them without just moving production away from other customers? All were made at their one Dresden fab I think, and it was production limited afaik most of the time. AMD also had larger die sizes even during their better chip days (the few years before Conroe came out). Intel's ability to deliver chips in mass quantity from manufacturing is something that AMD has never been anywhere close to matching.

Mind you, I'm speaking as someone who bought AMD between the 8086 days and Conroe, and tried to stay pro-AMD. But despite my pro-amd stand, Intel deserved the success it had -- particularly when they would expand production fab investments even during downturns so they'd be ready for the uptick. Something others did not do.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain
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