Intel Receiving Federal Antitrust Scrutiny
The chipmaker’s long-standing dismissal of antitrust claims by its main rival, AMD, will receive a test as Federal Trade Commission regulators take a closer look at Intel.
If it wasn’t for bad luck, the saying goes, I’d have no luck at all. Intel may be wishing for no luck instead, as the FTC initiated a formal look into Intel’s business practices.
“On June 4 the U.S. FTC served a subpoena related to Intel’s business practices with respect to competition in the microprocessor market,” Intel said in a statement. “By proceeding to a subpoena, the Commission will be able to obtain not only information that Intel has already committed to provide but also information from other parties.”
Other parties like means AMD, which filed a lawsuit against Intel in June 2005. AMD’s Hector Ruiz claimed in a spirited call with reporters that Intel engaged in a wide range of anticompetitive practices that hurt its ability to sell chips to computer manufacturers.
Intel averred that the current marketplace for chips shows competition exists. “Prices for microprocessors declined by 42.4 percent from 2000 to end of 2007,” Intel said, and also took a veiled swipe at AMD: “When competitors perform and execute the market rewards them. When they falter and under-perform the market responds accordingly.”
The New York Times noted how AMD fared well against Intel internationally with its accusations of anticompetitive activity. Japan, Korea, and Europe all witnessed legal actions by AMD against Intel.
The US case won’t see much activity in the courtroom for years. Due to what the Times described as a “crushing amount of evidence,” the start of the trial won’t happen until early in 2010.