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Timeline Set for Intel/AMD Antitrust Trial 151

Vitaly Friedman writes "The stage is set for the biggest tech battle in years: the antitrust lawsuit filed by AMD against rival Intel. What sort of effect is it likely to have on the industry and the consumer? From the article: 'Last year, the company filed an antitrust lawsuit against Intel, claiming that their rival had "unlawfully maintained its monopoly by engaging in a relentless, worldwide campaign to coerce customers to refrain from dealing with AMD" for more than ten years. AMD has already subpoenaed computer manufacturers, retailers, and even Microsoft to provide documentation pertaining to the case. Now, the timeline has been set for the trial of the Megayear to commence.'"
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Timeline Set for Intel/AMD Antitrust Trial

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  • Re:Monopoly? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Saturday April 22, 2006 @01:21PM (#15181128)
    According to this article, [arstechnica.com] they've only recently hit 20%. That's a long way from 50%. It's certainly a respectable number, but Intel could easily keep them at bay by employing illegal tactics.
  • by MarkByers ( 770551 ) on Saturday April 22, 2006 @01:28PM (#15181167) Homepage Journal
    A megayear is a million years [wikipedia.org].

    I even linked to Wikipedia so give me my Karma whoring [wikipedia.org] points.
  • Re:Monopoly? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by theLOUDroom ( 556455 ) on Saturday April 22, 2006 @01:40PM (#15181217)
    The article says AMD has 20% market share, not 50%. Oops. Still, the fact that AMD was able to wrest 20% of the market away from Intel seems to imply that Intel doesn't have monopoly power, and whatever power Intel has is steadily eroding. I don't think an antitrust suit is justified.

    Think a little bit man!

    What if AMD's chips were better than Intel's in every conceivable aspect (price, preformance, power dissipation, etc) and they can only manage a 20% market share? Doesn't that scream that's there's an artificial constraint placed on the market somehow?

    I'm not necessarily saying this is the case, but stating that someone reached a 20% market share therefore their competitors couldn't possibly be doing anything illegal is just silly.
  • by drpimp ( 900837 ) on Saturday April 22, 2006 @01:45PM (#15181240) Journal
    Speaking of Dell (Dintel) and them aquiring AlienWare (AMDware), and rumored they will still be using AMD cpus this begs the question. Will Intel pressure them to convert AlienWare purchases to Intel chips in due time? On the other hand, about market share, consider that Intel puts out so many, and so catchy ads on TV that no wonder they have such a huge market share. Unless I am blind I have not seen an AMD commercial. Just goes to show so many commercials for Intel, even if I did see an AMD commercial at some point, obviously it did stick into memory!
  • by ZoneGray ( 168419 ) on Saturday April 22, 2006 @04:02PM (#15181764) Homepage
    Despite Intel's alleged transgressions, AMD is kicking Intel's butt badly in the marketplace. All that's being accomplished by this suit is to settle up between the two companies on a past dispute. AMD's value won't go up much if they win, and Intel's won't decrease much if they lose. It will have NO effect on the current or future marktetplace. In fact, Intel to this day is threatening a price war, it's just that they can't pull it off they way they used to (all they're doing is dumping $50 Celerons; when AMD has a 3-4% advantage in margin, it's tough to win a price war). Meanwhile, AMD has thrived despite any obstacles that Intel threw at them.

    In other words, the market has already corrected for any transgressions, and AMD will be firmly in the driver's seat long before the suit is settled. The lawyers will be paid by future consumers of both brands.
  • pro-business (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wytcld ( 179112 ) on Saturday April 22, 2006 @04:22PM (#15181819) Homepage
    You're assuming that someone "pro-business" will favor an Intel monopoly, while someone who isn't "pro-business" will favor a level playing field on which AMD (and others) can fairly compete with Intel. So here we are, in a time and place where business is supposed to be capitalist and capitalism is supposed to both thrive on and require free competition, yet it seems like a reasonable thing (to at least some of us) to say that the "pro-business" course is actually the one where competition is stifled and monopoly imposed - even though every business person who does not currently enjoy a monopoly (that is, most of us) will tell you that monopolies are very bad things indeed.

    Pro-monopoly, when pushed far enough, is indifferentiable from communism. You thought we'd gotten rid of that, right?
  • Eh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Saturday April 22, 2006 @04:23PM (#15181821) Journal
    Those are very good points, but they are not a defense against monopoly behavior.

    AMD doesn't have to prove that Intel's tactics caused damages, merely that Intel has "unlawfully maintained its monopoly by engaging in a relentless, worldwide campaign to coerce customers to refrain from dealing with AMD".

    Proving damages and proving illegal behavior are two separate things. Even behavior that wasn't successful in thwarting AMD could still be ruled illegal under anti-trust laws.

    If AMD wins, they may get damages as one of the remedies, depending on what the Judge thinks is appropriate.
  • Re:Timeline (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jimmy_B ( 129296 ) <{gro.hmodnarmij} {ta} {todhsals}> on Saturday April 22, 2006 @04:47PM (#15181887) Homepage
    <blockquote>Since the case only starts in 2008, this is largely dependent on who is elected president that year.</blockquote>

    Actually, I rather doubt that. The case against Microsoft lost steam when Bush entered office because the federal government was one of the parties in the case. But for AMD v Intel, there's really nothing the White House can do to influence the result.
  • by Pass_Thru ( 79608 ) on Saturday April 22, 2006 @07:38PM (#15182406)
    My views, no flames please, lol

    So, Dell threaten to use AMD chips. Intel get a bit upset, and tries to arm twist Dell. What can Dell do here? The popular belief would be that Dell gets scared and stays with Intel.

    Really? So they can get their chips cheaper from AMD, and supposedly the consumer wants AMD chips. So Dell says *fsck the consumer* and stays with Intel. Doesn't ring true to me...

    Fact is that Dell sells a lot of PC's & Laptops, with Intel chips.... Kinda says that the consumer (at large) is happy to buy Intel based PC products, in my opinion.

    As a software engineer, not as a gamer (I don't have the spare time), I notice that Intel chip based PC's perform faster at building software under .NET than AMD based ones do. You may cry that the compiler is optimised for Intel, but am I, as a developer bothered? No.

    I count myself as a member of the consuming public, and I make my choice of PC based upon price & performance at what I want it to do. It is a tool after all. Therefor I buy Intel based PC products. Now if I was a brand enthusiast (as I am with my cars, I love Landrovers) then I would by whatever I was loyal too, regardless of the shortcomings, whatever they may be!

    Just my views, take them or ignore them as you see fit :-)

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