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Intel settles U.S. anti-trust suit

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 04 Aug 2010 21:19 User comments (7)

Intel settles U.S. anti-trust suit Intel has agreed today to stop unfair practices including using threats and giving unfair discounts to block out rivals.
The company settled with the FTC (U.S. Federal Trade Commission) without paying any fine and without admitting any wrongdoing.

Furthermore, Intel pledged to give its rivals access to processor technology for the next six years.

Intel had been sued by Nvidia and rival AMD over the unfair practices. The Nvidia case is still pending.

The chip-maker has 80 percent of the microprocessor market.

"It's a landmark settlement that really will have a striking effect on improving competition in the market," says former FTC policy director David Balto.

Intel is now banned from "retaliating" against computer makers if they chose to do business with AMD or other non-Intel suppliers.

The European Union, Korea and Japan have all, over the past couple of years, accused Intel of similar unfair/anti-trust practices.

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7 user comments

15.8.2010 2:37

I've actually seen this go on first hand; AMD wasn't even allowed for the longest time to be distributed by first tier suppliers across the world *such as Synnex, Ingram Micro and a handful of others* being bribed by Intel to have better incentives to never add AMD to their selling line up for clients. These suppliers were huge enough to sell to the vast majority of partners from MS, HP, Dell to government on all levels, as well as even SMB - large businesses *including Tiger Direct* and not just computer stores/suppliers you may have or not dealt with.

That left the majority of business/government related consumers out on a loop with AMD, and if they wanted AMD had to deal with them directly because no supplier would stock it at their warehouses for years. When that happens, Intel not only had stock everywhere, they positioned their hands to say "Yea you can go AMD, but if you stay with us, we can break this price point...". And we did, we sold that dirty. The bigger the deal from thousands to millions units sold at one time, the much cheaper the $ was that AMD couldn't even touch it, or even meet supply as they had to stock the demand in their own warehouses.

Now thankfully some of the first tier suppliers can stock AMD, and AMD will slowly gain some much needed battle ground that Intel had fenced off for decades. What does that mean for us? Well as Tiger Direct and other businesses like them can get AMD products more easily using the same warehouse suppliers that Intel once was the overlords of, AMD prices will come down even further over time to much more compete with Intel, but its all gonna come down to *can they penetrate the markets Intel have dominated in both private/government and public sectors?* if so, then home consumers will greatly benefit, if not; than AMD will have to continue to struggle anyways. Good luck.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Aug 2010 @ 2:39

25.8.2010 5:21

Yeah...I have a friend in Japan thanks to Intel. Why? Because back when the AMD K7 came out, the only way to get a compatible mainboard was to import from Japan. Only Asus was making such a board at the time, and they didn't even put their name on it, as Intel had already threatened that if they made this board, Intel would stop providing them the chipsets they needed for Intel-based system boards. It was over a month before there was even a manual posted on the Asus FTP server, and even then, the board did not officially exist. By the time it was possible to buy one of these boards from an english-speaking website, I had already imported about 50 of them for friends, coworkers, customers, and customers of friends and spite of my warnings about the high cost, complete lack of support or warranty, and long wait times. Clearly, the demand was there...the slow sales of the K7 had nothing to do with the processor itself.

35.8.2010 5:26

^ what! thats cool

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Aug 2010 @ 5:27

45.8.2010 7:23

Well i get they want fair competition. But competition is never fair :P

55.8.2010 8:32

AMD isn't even asking for fair competition...if they wanted a level playing field, they would make a processor that was as good as the i7.

All AMD wants is for Intel to stop threatening those who work with both companies. Well, they also want Intel to tell the truth in their "training" sessions that they do with best buy sales idiots, they want them to stop printing blatant lies, and they want them to pay damages for all the times they have done all these things in the past.

65.8.2010 10:30

I remember that Asus K7 board. I had one as well, along with a separate more popular board for the K6 series as well. It was definitely a biatch to get parts for AMD at the time, but it still proved more reliable imo than Intel setup anyways; especially when not soon after Intel went Pentium II, I was still using my K7. Bleh.. slot processors... I was for sure hoping that would have killed Intel then, but at the time, their scare tactics and ruthless business was what saved them.

723.8.2010 22:22

They may have settled this one but apparently screwed nVidia in another situation.

They have just moved the crappy graphics function from the chipset to the processor in the latest avatar of dual core Atom. Most probably raising the cpu price and reducing the chiset price, keeping the cost of the cpu+chipset price constant. So any motherboard manufacturer wanting to incorporate nVidia ION chipset in an Atom motherboard will end up paying substantially more as the ION graphics then need an additional pci-e slot and an addon card! Zotac is one example of a victim. Asus is soon to be another. Probably no EeePc netbook with Atom+Ion!

Personally I have stayed away from Intel for the past 10 years. What I would like to see is an AMD phenom cpu with nVidia chipset combo motherboard. That would be a really killer product. AMD chisets - especially the USB controller part sucks big time. Have had nothing but trouble.

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