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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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By knutjb on 11/4/2009 6:18:28 PM , Rating: 2
Glad to see someone has this story in proper context.

No matter how much Intel ends up paying out it can never compensate AMD for the losses it has incurred on development. To connect the dots for those who get it, if you can't fund your R&D you can't get patents for that technology. You might be working on it but your much wealthier competitor will have a significant advantage and still try to put you under with those newly developed patents.

Remember when AMD was working hard on 64 bit processors and commentators wondered why they worked so hard when 64 bit software was years off. Intel must use AMD's patent to be able to run 64 bit OSes. Intel does not like having to be beholden to anyone.

By xRyanCat on 11/4/2009 7:12:59 PM , Rating: 2
But the two are incompatible. AMD and Intel have cross-licensing agreements. AMD licenses the x86 instruction set from Intel and Intel in turn licenses the expandexd x86-64 set from AMD. Both need each other and neither would ever think about openly breaking the agreement just to spite the other.

True though. AMD could not survive without its current licensing agreements with Intel.

By omnicronx on 11/5/2009 12:22:59 AM , Rating: 1
The problem I see is that Intel can still make x86 chips regardless, AMD can't even make use of x64 without an x86 license. The cross licensing agreement you speak of ends in at the end of 2010, so I find the timing of this news to be very weird..

By chunkymonster on 11/6/2009 1:27:37 PM , Rating: 2
The problem I see is that Intel can still make x86 chips regardless, AMD can't even make use of x64 without an x86 license. The cross licensing agreement you speak of ends in at the end of 2010, so I find the timing of this news to be very weird..

At one time Intel sued to have AMD's x86 license revoked but, at the time of the suit if AMD's license had been revoked, it would have made Intel a sole source provider of x86 processors to the U.S. government, as a result it was (more or less) determined that AMD has carte-blanche on the x86 license.

Also, AMD broke away from making Intel clones with the K5 series processors; because of this, AMD effectively developed their own x86 uArch. And, while AMD still licenses x86 from Intel, there has been enough cross-licensing between the two companies to negate any threats of revoking licensing. For example, the x86-64 extensions built into all Intel processors is licensed from AMD. So, if Intel forced revocation of AMD's x86 license then AMD could force revocation of Intel's X86-64 license, and then where would either company be? The existing license ending in 2010 will end up being a license renewal, at the most.

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer
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