Intel has once again found itself in the middle of legal troubles. Following the mammoth $1.45 billion EU fine earlier in the year, an FTC complaint to be made soon, New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo has sued Intel for similar antitrust violations.

Cuomo accuses Intel of “abusing its dominant position in the chip market to keep its main rival, Advanced Micro Devices, at bay”. Fair enough, considering this very accusation has been proven and penalized by EU, South Korea and Japanese authorities.

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Intel has once again found itself in the middle of legal troubles.
Following the mammoth $1.45 billion EU fine earlier in the year, an FTC
complaint to be made soon, New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo has
sued Intel for similar antitrust violations.

Cuomo accuses Intel of “abusing its dominant position in the chip market
to keep its main rival, Advanced Micro Devices, at bay”. Fair enough,
considering this very accusation has been proven and penalized by EU, South Korea and
Japanese authorities.

Mr. Cuomo went on to say, “Rather than compete fairly, Intel used bribery and coercion to maintain a stranglehold on the market. Intel’s actions not only unfairly restricted potential competitors, but also hurt average consumers who were robbed of better products and lower prices.” During the press conference, New York prosecutors said Intel abused its monopoly power “as a central business strategy” rather than just in isolated incidents.

Most of the EU fine was due to evidence that Intel had provided unlawful incentives (harshly put, bribes) to keep OEM manufacturers from using AMD CPUs.

AMD’s own lawsuit, from 2005, will finally go to courts next year. Meanwhile, Mr. Cuomo’s team have been working with FTC, and both groups are expected to take action in coming months.

Meanwhile, giants Intel continue to rake in the billions. Not even the recession or unprecedented fines worth $1.45 seem to hurt Intel’s profitability.

Reference: Techreport

UPDATE: Wall Street Journal report Intel paid Dell a whopping $6 billion between 2002 to 2007 to keep Dell from using AMD products. That is just Dell, Intel reportedly paid off several major computer manufacturers.

No wonder Intel does not seem unphased by puny $1.45 billion fines – a fine that will destroy most companies in this industry. Clearly, a fine $1.45 billion is a fraction of the total payments (or bribes), which in turn would be a fraction of the potential income they may have lost to AMD had the computer makers opted for AMD; is perhaps good business from the point of view of Intel. If proven, very strict action must be taken, as these are monstrous allegations.

Those numbers might indicate AMD were robbed of tens of billions dollars worth in revenue over half a decade. Considering AMD’s financial situation, a fair competitive arena may have meant AMD being debt-free, and subsequently, putting in more R&D and better products on the market. In the end, Intel wins, everyone else suffers. Of course, these accusations need to be proven first.