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Posted: 6/6/2008 11:44:55 AM EST

www.nytimes.com/2008/06/07/technology/07chip.html?_r=1&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=all&oref=slogin
By STEPHEN LABATON
Published: June 7, 2008

WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission has opened a formal antitrust investigation of Intel, the world’s largest maker of computer microprocessors, for anticompetitive conduct, government officials and lawyers involved in the proceeding said Friday.

The officials and lawyers said that in recent days Intel, its smaller rival Advanced Micro Devices, and several of the world’s largest personal computer makers that buy semiconductors from the two companies have begun to receive subpoenas from the commission.

The investigation into accusations that Intel’s pricing policies have been designed to maintain a near-monopoly on the microprocessor market was authorized by William E. Kovacic, the new chairman of the trade commission, and has the support of the agency’s other commissioners.

It reversed a decision by his predecessor, Deborah P. Majoras, who had been blocking the formal inquiry for many months, frustrating other senior commission officials and some lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Ms. Majoras is a former senior official in the antitrust division at the Justice Department who was an architect of the Bush administration’s antitrust settlement with Microsoft in 2001. She stepped down two months ago to become the general counsel at Procter & Gamble.

In a statement on Friday, Intel acknowledged that it had received a subpoena on Wednesday and said that it had been “working closely” with the trade commission on a less formal review that had been under way since 2006. The company said it would cooperate with authorities.

“The company believes its business practices are well within U.S. law,” the statement said. “The evidence that this industry is fiercely competitive and working is compelling.”

Thomas M. McCoy, Advanced Micro’s executive vice president for legal affairs and chief administrative officer, released a statement that said: “Intel must now answer to the Federal Trade Commission, which is the appropriate way to determine the impact of Intel practices on U.S. consumers and technology businesses.”

Intel shares were down about 2.7 percent in afternoon trading.

Since it will almost certainly be many months before the commission decides whether to make a case against Intel, as European and Asian regulators have already done, the investigation could mark an important early test for the next administration on antitrust and competition policy.

Technically independent of the White House, the trade commission is led by appointees of the president. An administration seeking to show that it is more vigorous on antitrust policy than the Bush administration could use the Intel investigation to lay down an early marker.

A.M.D. has waged a global legal and public relations campaign against Intel hoping to persuade American and foreign regulators that Intel’s pricing practices violate antitrust laws.

The fight between the two — over a market that generates revenue of more than $225 billion a year — is among the largest antitrust matters pending before American and foreign regulators, and is considered to be among the most important since the antitrust cases brought against Microsoft in the 1990s.

Though Intel and A.M.D. are based in California — and their largest customers are American computer and equipment makers — A.M.D.’s complaints have received considerably more traction abroad.

This week, the Korean Fair Trade Commission said it would order Intel to pay more than $25 million for violating its fair trade laws. The Korean commission found that Intel violated antitrust law when it offered $37 million in rebates to the personal computer makers, Samsung Electronics and the Trigem Company, from 2002 to 2005 in return for a pledge not to buy microprocessors from A.M.D. Intel responded by saying it was disappointed with the decision and would probably appeal.

Mr. McCoy, the A.M.D. executive, said, “In every country around the world where Intel’s business practices have been investigated, including the decision by South Korea this week, antitrust regulators have taken action.”

Lawyers involved in the proceedings say they expect that European regulators will expand their statement of objections, or official charge sheet, against Intel. Last year, the European Commission said the company had engaged in anticompetitive conduct by providing rebates to customers that limit their business with rivals and by paying computer makers to either delay or cancel the release of products that used A.M.D. microprocessors.

The European complaint said that Intel had abused its market dominance “with the aim of excluding its main rival from the market.” The complaint was the culmination of a six-year investigation.

Intel’s pricing practices are also being reviewed by investigators working for the New York attorney general Andrew M. Cuomo.

And A.M.D. has sued Intel in Federal District Court in Delaware. As a result of the crushing amount of evidence being gathered by both sides, a special master in that case this week delayed the start of the trial to early 2010. The trial had originally been scheduled for next spring.

Intel, which was founded by engineers who both developed the chip and made repeated innovations that made it smaller and more powerful, controls 80 to 90 percent of the microprocessor market. American antitrust law permits a company to hold a monopoly, but it forbids a company from leveraging its dominance to restrict competition.

A.M.D. has asserted that Intel offers rebates and discounts that, in effect, result in its chips being sold at prices below the cost of production, a practice that some courts in cases involving other companies have said can be a violation of antitrust law.

Intel denies that its discounts and rebates drive its prices below cost, or at predatory levels. Intel has said that it offered legitimate discounts based on the volume of chips that have been purchased by companies, and that consumers benefit when personal computer manufacturers — using the discounts — are able to lower the cost of making their products.

Intel executives have also said that, to the extent the foreign antitrust regulators have come down harder on the company than American officials, it is a reflection of the different approach towards antitrust law. The American approach towards antitrust has been historically aimed at protecting competition, while the others use antitrust often to protect rival companies.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 11:46:42 AM EST
whaaa whaaaa

big corporation making and selling better stuff cheaper than the competition....


whaa whaaa
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 11:48:17 AM EST
Isn't AMDs very existence prove that the accusations are bunk?
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 11:49:44 AM EST
I believe this case was over memory chips not processors and was over raising prices not lowering.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 11:50:33 AM EST

Originally Posted By Silence:
whaaa whaaaa

big corporation making and selling better stuff cheaper than the competition....


whaa whaaa


You have no clue what you're talking about.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 11:50:42 AM EST

Originally Posted By Dtrain323i:
Isn't AMDs very existence prove that the accusations are bunk?


No.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 11:50:53 AM EST

Originally Posted By Orion_Shall_Rise:
I believe this case was over memory chips not processors and was over raising prices not lowering.


Nope.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 11:52:14 AM EST

Originally Posted By DanielT:

Originally Posted By Silence:
whaaa whaaaa

big corporation making and selling better stuff cheaper than the competition....


whaa whaaa


You have no clue what you're talking about.


And you do?
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 11:53:20 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/6/2008 11:54:45 AM EST by Journy]

Originally Posted By Dtrain323i:
Isn't AMDs very existence prove that the accusations are bunk?


they arent exactly existing very well at the moment.

they are losing market share quickly because of failed processor designs that they sunk huge money in and touted as gonna spank INTEL all over again.

That didnt happen and AMD quickly lost most of its market share it gained over the last 6 years or so with an inferior product. Also they bought ATI when ATI was about to release a shitty video card design, and you can start to see they are having a tough time till next year some time.


Add in that AMD is losing fuck tons of cash yearly, that they keep raising by selling stock, and you have quite the big corporate fuck up.

I blame there bullshitting CEO.


This year they are supposed to release a better performing video card than Nvidia, so that might do something for them.

If AMD goes under ever, "which i doubt" INTEL is gonna raise prices accordingly because of no need to compete.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 11:55:04 AM EST

Originally Posted By Silence:

Originally Posted By DanielT:

Originally Posted By Silence:
whaaa whaaaa

big corporation making and selling better stuff cheaper than the competition....


whaa whaaa


You have no clue what you're talking about.


And you do?


Yes.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 11:55:04 AM EST
i used to hate intel and was a amd cockrider, but fuck core 2 duo came out and wooped amd's ass and they've been whiney since buying up my beloved ati which sucks now too, so fuck them.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 11:56:18 AM EST

Originally Posted By DanielT:

Originally Posted By Silence:

Originally Posted By DanielT:

Originally Posted By Silence:
whaaa whaaaa

big corporation making and selling better stuff cheaper than the competition....


whaa whaaa


You have no clue what you're talking about.


And you do?


Yes.


Then explain.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 11:58:15 AM EST

Originally Posted By Silence:

Originally Posted By DanielT:

Originally Posted By Silence:

Originally Posted By DanielT:

Originally Posted By Silence:
whaaa whaaaa

big corporation making and selling better stuff cheaper than the competition....


whaa whaaa


You have no clue what you're talking about.


And you do?


Yes.


Then explain.
oh shit, E-FIGHT E-FIGHT my E-PENIS IS BIGGER THAN YOURS!!!!

:ETHUG:
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 12:00:19 PM EST

Originally Posted By rykn0w:
i used to hate intel and was a amd cockrider, but fuck core 2 duo came out and wooped amd's ass and they've been whiney since buying up my beloved ati which sucks now too, so fuck them.


QFT!

e8400 > 6400+ A night and day diffrence..
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 12:01:12 PM EST

Originally Posted By Silence:
Then explain.


A big corporation isn't "making and selling better stuff cheaper than the competition" when they're paying companies to not buy or delay their competitor's products.

Don't take my word for it though, do your own research.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 12:02:45 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/6/2008 12:05:43 PM EST by DanielT]

Originally Posted By Fat_McNasty:

Originally Posted By rykn0w:
i used to hate intel and was a amd cockrider, but fuck core 2 duo came out and wooped amd's ass and they've been whiney since buying up my beloved ati which sucks now too, so fuck them.


QFT!

e8400 > 6400+ A night and day diffrence..


Your problem wasn't your AMD equipment, it was your inability to troubleshoot a bad motherboard (more precisely, a bad NIC), like I said in the thread you posted complaining about it, right before you "quit" Arfcom.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 12:05:41 PM EST

Originally Posted By DanielT:

Originally Posted By Silence:
Then explain.


A big corporation isn't "making and selling better stuff cheaper than the competition" when they're paying companies to not buy or delay their competitor's products.

Don't take my word for it though, do your own research.


You know if AMD was better, or cheaper, and people wanted or demanded AMD products in their computers, then whatever intel does, or did, wouldnt matter, companies would use what their costumers wanted.

But since the consumers arent clamouring for AMDs, AMD is whining that intel isnt playing fair.

Whaa Whaa We cant compete...



Link Posted: 6/6/2008 12:08:48 PM EST

Originally Posted By Silence:
You know if AMD was better, or cheaper, and people wanted or demanded AMD products in their computers, then whatever intel does, or did, wouldnt matter, companies would use what their costumers wanted.

But since the consumers arent clamouring for AMDs, AMD is whining that intel isnt playing fair.

Whaa Whaa We cant compete...


Like I said, you don't know what you're talking about. Reveling in your own ignorance doesn't make you look any smarter.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 12:11:14 PM EST

Originally Posted By DanielT:

Originally Posted By Silence:
You know if AMD was better, or cheaper, and people wanted or demanded AMD products in their computers, then whatever intel does, or did, wouldnt matter, companies would use what their costumers wanted.

But since the consumers arent clamouring for AMDs, AMD is whining that intel isnt playing fair.

Whaa Whaa We cant compete...


Like I said, you don't know what you're talking about. Reveling in your own ignorance doesn't make you look any smarter.


So you are saying that the consumers want AMD but arent getting them because of Intel?
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 12:18:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/6/2008 12:19:08 PM EST by DanielT]

Originally Posted By Silence:
So you are saying that the consumers want AMD but arent getting them because of Intel?


I'm saying that you don't know what you're talking about. Read the articles available to you with that Google search I linked and get yourself informed on what occurred and is occurring.

If your problem is anti-trust laws in general, then complain about them specifically.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 12:33:15 PM EST

Originally Posted By DanielT:

Originally Posted By Fat_McNasty:

Originally Posted By rykn0w:
i used to hate intel and was a amd cockrider, but fuck core 2 duo came out and wooped amd's ass and they've been whiney since buying up my beloved ati which sucks now too, so fuck them.


QFT!

e8400 > 6400+ A night and day diffrence..


Your problem wasn't your AMD equipment, it was your inability to troubleshoot a bad motherboard (more precisely, a bad NIC), like I said in the thread you posted complaining about it, right before you "quit" Arfcom.


wasn't the nic homie! And your holier than though IT godliness You can shove up your ass!

It was a shitty designed AMD motherboard thats has now been discontinued due to too many problems (fucking ASUS crosshair). But take some time and read some of the reviews on Hardocp and you will see its not just this one board.. Intel spanks AMD time and time again in the realworld tests posted over there.. i used to be an AMD fan boy since the days of the 486 dx2 100. But latly they have been dropping the ball and it shows..
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 12:44:38 PM EST

Originally Posted By Journy:

Originally Posted By Dtrain323i:
Isn't AMDs very existence prove that the accusations are bunk?


they arent exactly existing very well at the moment.

they are losing market share quickly because of failed processor designs that they sunk huge money in and touted as gonna spank INTEL all over again.

That didnt happen and AMD quickly lost most of its market share it gained over the last 6 years or so with an inferior product. Also they bought ATI when ATI was about to release a shitty video card design, and you can start to see they are having a tough time till next year some time.


Add in that AMD is losing fuck tons of cash yearly, that they keep raising by selling stock, and you have quite the big corporate fuck up.

I blame there bullshitting CEO.


This year they are supposed to release a better performing video card than Nvidia, so that might do something for them.

If AMD goes under ever, "which i doubt" INTEL is gonna raise prices accordingly because of no need to compete.


Well being an ex-AMDer, Most of what is said is spot on.

Compition with Intel has always been a one of numbers and cash. AMD would run out a good processor at a fair price and intel would under cut that price no matter how much it cost to produce.

Right now Intel controlls 80% of the chip business and AMD is around 12%.

AMD had good people that knew how to cut cost when needed in company owned fabs. Now with the current management, they believe they do not need Fabs to produce good products and they can farm them out to secondary producers to save costs.

Intel is the 800lb gorrila and can point to AMD to say they do not voilate anti trust laws.

AMD though has gotten better at designing chips but ........sometimes you have to wonder.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 12:51:38 PM EST

Originally Posted By DanielT:
I'm saying that you don't know what you're talking about. Read the articles available to you with that Google search I linked and get yourself informed on what occurred and is occurring.

If your problem is anti-trust laws in general, then complain about them specifically.


Ive read them.

Where has Intel violated anti-trust laws?

All I see is AMD whining that they cant compete with Intel.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 6:38:14 PM EST

Originally Posted By Silence:
Ive read them.


No, you haven't, and it's obvious.


Where has Intel violated anti-trust laws?


Both Japan and S. Korea have found Intel guilty of violating anti-trust laws. The EU and our FTC are investigating them.


All I see is AMD whining that they cant compete with Intel.


AMD is not whining that they can't complete with Intel; AMD is claiming that Intel is using illegal monopolistic practices to suppress competition. You'd know that if you'd read any of the articles on the matter.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 6:51:45 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/6/2008 6:52:40 PM EST by DanielT]

Originally Posted By Fat_McNasty:

wasn't the nic homie! And your holier than though IT godliness You can shove up your ass!


Mkay. You know because you tried a PCI NIC, right?


It was a shitty designed AMD motherboard thats has now been discontinued due to too many problems (fucking ASUS crosshair).


The same ASUS Crosshair motherboard that has the nVidia 590 chipset with the really crappy NICs that have known bandwidth issues? That shitty "AMD" motherboard?


But take some time and read some of the reviews on Hardocp and you will see its not just this one board.. Intel spanks AMD time and time again in the realworld tests posted over there.. i used to be an AMD fan boy since the days of the 486 dx2 100. But latly they have been dropping the ball and it shows..


How fast people forget...AMD's 386-DX40 was the faster processor on the consumer market when it debuted, and spanked even 486SX procs for a long, long time. The K6 kicked all sorts of ass. For a good two-three years, including the time period when AMD initially filed suit against Intel (that would be June 2005), AMD's K8 and Opteron processors were whooping the shit out of Intel's procs. Intel couldn't even come close to competing in any processor market segment on either performance or power consumption.

And now, Intel has released a very good processor and continues to capitalize on it, but people seem to forget history in an eye-blink. AMD and Intel have been leap-frogging each other for years in processor performance, and there's no reason to think that trend suddenly won't continue.
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