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An AMD-commissioned report claims Intel's practices hurt the industry on a massive scale

According to a recent AMD-commissioned study by research firm ERS Group, Intel gained approximately $80 billion USD in monopoly profits over the course of 11 years since 1996. ERS Group director Dr. Michael A. Williams, said that while gaining billions in profits is normal for a company of Intel's size, Intel gained an extra $60 billion by using anticompetitive business practices. Essentially, Dr. Williams' report claims that Intel overcharged for microprocessors and other related products.

Intel has been in a legal situation with the European Union for the last several years, being a prime target for antitrust investigations. Just recently, Intel disputed the EU's claims that its business practices negatively impacted the market and consumer spending. Intel claimed that many if not all complaints were directly from AMD and not customers at all. True enough, most of the complaints filed to the EU have been by AMD and companies that received subpoenas from AMD to release information.

"We are confident that the microprocessor market segment is functioning normally and that Intel's conduct has been lawful, pro-competitive, and beneficial to consumers," said Intel senior vice president and general counsel Bruce Sewell in a statement.

According Dr. Williams' report, Intel collected roughly $141.8 billion USD in profits from 1996 to 2006. The report subtracted normal competitive profits as well as economic profits and something called "assumed advantage profits" of 5%, leaving Intel with $60 billion in monopolistic profits. Despite assumptions using what the report called "standard economic methodologies," it is impossible to determine exactly just how much extra profit Intel gained from a monopoly.

"To be conservative, the study next provided Intel with a generous assumption that 5 percentage points ($28 billion) of its economic return were attributable to legitimate advantages. That left the $60 billion monopoly profit figure," indicated the report.

Assumptions aside, Intel has done very well over the last several years. Its price structure however has not changed drastically -- flagship processors always carry a big premium while lower models always give the better value. Intel's halo processors typically carry a price tag of roughly $1,000 at retail; Intel value processors occasionally fill a sub-$60 price point.

An area outside of the legal system where AMD constantly competes with Intel is in prices. Over the last two years, the price war between AMD and Intel has been nothing less than beneficial to the consumer. AMD recently cut prices on its multi-core processors, giving another shot in the arm to Intel. In this back and forth price cutting, AMD essentially reduces its potential profits. Intel traditionally competes by using heavy marketing campaigns that run on a global scale, but AMD's marketing strategy heavily focuses on the U.S. market -- a small percentage of the overall global market.


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Overcharged?
By redbone75 on 8/5/2007 9:02:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Essentially, Dr. Williams' report claims that Intel overcharged for microprocessors and other related products.

Of course they overcharged for their products! Their products were in high demand because people wanted Intel products for whatever reasons (marketing, performance, monopolistic practices... whatever) and Intel was going to seize the moment. Look at AMD's prices for the X2 lineup until the release of the Core 2; $300USD only got you the "lowly" 3800 because Intel did not have a competitive product. One could argue that of course AMD had to charge as much as they could while they could because they didn't have the deep coffers that Intel has. One could also argue that AMD could charge that much because they simply made a better product, not because they strong armed their partners. Either way, that only reinforces, imo, the point that companies are looking out for themselves, not the consumers. Their sole reason for existing is to make a profit for their shareholders, and if that means charging $1000 for a processor that they could otherwise comfortably sell for $300, then so be it.

What's going to be AMD's next complaint? "Intel is unfairly undercutting our prices to drive us out of business. We demand that they raise their prices so we can actually make money from the products we sell." I'm not saying at all that AMD has no basis for legal complaint. The problem is they have to prove it in court with facts, and until they have proof then their accusations will remain just accusations.




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