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The U.S. DoJ probes graphics makers for antitrust violations

Both AMD and NVIDIA have received subpoenas from the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division in connection with the DOJ’s investigation into potential antitrust violations related to graphics processors and cards. The root of the AMD subpoena is its recent acquisition of ATI Technologies last month, which was approved according to Canadian antitrust laws.


The DOJ has not made any specific allegations against AMD, ATI, or NVIDIA. Both AMD and NVIDIA said that they intend to cooperate with the DOJ in its investigations.


Together, AMD and NVIDIA hold just over half of the entire graphics market, each with about an equal share. Following the news, NVIDIA shares fell 3.6 percent on Nasdaq trade, while AMD shares fell 2.1 percent on the New York Stock Exchange.

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The Clayton Act
By TimberJon on 12/1/2006 2:34:23 PM , Rating: 2
I think it is the DOJ who is doing the dirtywork here. And the Clayton Act is probably the reason.

The Clayton Act
This Act is a civil statute (carrying no criminal penalties) that prohibits mergers or acquisitions that are likely to lessen competition. Under this Act, the government challenges those mergers that careful economic analysis shows are likely to increase prices to consumers. All persons considering a merger or acquisition above a certain size must notify both the Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission. The Act also prohibits other business practices that may harm competition under certain circumstances."


RE: The Clayton Act
By dwalton on 12/1/2006 5:02:02 PM , Rating: 2
Are there less players in the chipset, gpu or cpu markets because of this merger?

I was under the impression that AMD produce neither GPUs or chipsets and ATI didn't produce cpus.

Why Nvidia but not Intel? Intel represent a direct competitor in all affected markets (gpu, cpu and chipsets), something Nvidia can't claim. Plus, there is no VIA or SIS.

The one common thread between the companies contacted by the DOJ is discrete graphics. Thus, one could believe that the DOJ has evidence that Nvidia and/or ATI might have not played fair, either with us, the customers or amongst themselves.

RE: The Clayton Act
By Lonyo on 12/1/2006 7:28:55 PM , Rating: 2
Intel can't be involved in price fixing graphics cards because they don't MAKE graphics cards. Fairly simple.

antitrust violations related to graphics processors and cards

Intel are therefore not involved. AMD are because ATi is AMD.

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