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New York Launches Intel Antitrust Investigation 66

Posted by Soulskill
from the chip-on-their-shoulders dept.
Multiple users have notified us of reports that the Attorney General of New York has initiated an antitrust investigation of Intel. The EU served Intel with similar charges last July, and AMD has been battling Intel over antitrust issues for some time. Quoting the New York Times: "The subpoenas from Mr. Cuomo's office will seek internal memos, billing documents, and correspondence between Intel and its customers to determine whether the company engaged in a variety of anticompetitive practices, like penalized customers, primarily computer manufacturers, for purchasing processors from competitors or improperly paying customers to use Intel chips exclusively. Chuck Mulloy, a spokesman for Intel, said the company would comply with Mr. Cuomo's subpoena but denied any illegality."
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New York Launches Intel Antitrust Investigation

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  • Why can't..... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bherman (531936) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @06:59PM (#21992928) Homepage
    Intel pay a company to use Intel exclusively, but Blu-Ray or HD-DVD can?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by nbert (785663)
      That's a good point and I can only assume why it's a different case:
      1. There is no monopoly on Blue-Ray or HD-DVD. Both standards are provided by several companies
      2. Both standards offer different features. CPUs on the other hand basically perform the same tasks (ok, sometimes one of the two major manufacturers has a new instruction set, but they exchange patents regarding this to ensure interoperability)
      3. The global market for HD material is still quite small and we don't really depend on it. Both might be so
    • by MLS100 (1073958)
      I guess this is why AMD can't even give its chips away for free right now, Intel is one step ahead yet again!
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Enderandrew (866215)
        I bought a dual-core AMD X2 3500 last year for $35. While everyone is trash-talking AMD because Intel has speedier chips on the high end, people keep overlooking how damned cheap the low-end AMD processors are, and how much more bang you get for your buck. I think the educated consumers are still buying AMD for just that reason.
        • by pin0chet (963774)
          AMD has some great low-end chips, but Intel has taken over every other market segment in performance. AMD remains viable only in the sub-$75 range. Intel's $75 E2140 can hit 3Ghz easily, running circles around a $75 Athlon X2 4400+, no matter how good of an OC you get from the Athlon. Intel's Core 2 chips have much more OC headroom and much better performance per dollar all the way from the $75 E2140 to the $1000 QX9650.
          • There are people who have gotten the 3500+ up to 3Ghz on air, and again that chip is so old, you can't even buy it anymore, but last year it was $35.

            Not to mention that clock speed isn't everything. People often overlook the FSB for one. AMD has a much better FSB speed.

            Then there is the fact that I figured the Slashdot crowd wasn't the type to support evil anti-trust corporations like Intel.
          • by kelnos (564113)
            That's good news for me. I refuse to spend more than $40-50 on a CPU anyway. AMD it is, then.
    • by cybersquid (24605) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @09:00PM (#21994110) Homepage
      I once worked at a now defunct major PC maker in the late 80s/early 90s.

      They developed a notebook computer. There were 2 flavors: one used an Intel low-power 386 chip, and the other an AMD low-power 286. (They were going to use an Intel low-power 286, but Intel canceled the chip.)

      The next month, they got shorted their allotment of 486 chips. Which meant that they couldn't ship all the desktop computers they'd built. There was no 2nd source for 486 chips. I was told that Intel was very clear why this happened. I think the AMD version was soon discontinued.

      Not long after, Intel was investigated for this sort of thing. When the authorities contacted this company, they were so afraid of Intel that they denied anything like this had happened to them.
      • by Arthur B. (806360)
        Fortunately, if such behavior really created mispricings in chips, new PC makers would offer AMD only and intel would take a beating.
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        In the 80's we were using a TI DSP chip that was popular. Supplies were allocated, which meant that the TI rep visited us and told us we would only get any of them if we bought all of our digital logic chips from TI as well. It's the way the sales guys do business.
        • by cybersquid (24605)
          That's a similar scenario. May I ask a question?

          Did the sales rep tell you this before you were buying, or after you'd gone into production?
      • They developed a notebook computer. There were 2 flavors: one used an Intel low-power 386 chip, and the other an AMD low-power 286.

        Notebook? I think they were too big to be that, are you sure you don't mean suitcase computer?
        • by cybersquid (24605)
          Interesting: what are the criteria?

          As it happens one sits in my office as a dust collector. My tape measure says:

          Width: 11.25"
          Depth: 9"
          Thick: 2.25"

          I've read on-line that the weight is ~6.5 lbs.

          Larger than most notebooks of today, but still I think a notebook.
      • AMD did produce a 486 clone and it lasted for many years it just took them a bit longer because IIRC they had to reverse engineer it.

        The only reason there was competition in the PC processor market in the first place was because IBM insisted on it. As IBM lost power there was noone with the clout to pressure intel into releasing it's designs so the other manufacturers of PC processors had to switch to reverse engineering or making thier own designs.
    • by Lunatrik (1136121)
      IANAL, but in order to practice this kind of business I believe you have to meet certain regulations. For instance, its OK for Coke to offer a fast food joint a discount on Coke products if they buy in quantities so large that it would be foolish for them to stock Pepsi at all. While they are driving pepsi out of the market, its "under the table". However, Coke going to that same store and signing an agreement that says "only sell coke and we'll sell it to you cheaper" -- I think thats where the line is
  • by CajunArson (465943) on Thursday January 10, 2008 @07:09PM (#21993058) Journal
    Andrew Cuomo is infringing on Elliot Spitzer's patented method of going after any big "bad" company (conveniently based OUTSIDE of New York to not rile up local interests) in order to get political credentials as "crusading for the people" while doing nothing to actually help anybody. Oh, and the planned Fab that AMD was going to build in New York (but is probably not going to because its market capitalization is less than the value of a new fab post-Barcelona) has absolutely nothing to do with his "heroic" interests in going after Intel.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CodeBuster (516420)
      To use a term from the lexicon of the average New Yorker, why don't those companies, which are based OUTSIDE of New York, politely tell the attorney general of New York to go f*** himself?
      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by WK2 (1072560)

        To use a term from the lexicon of the average New Yorker, why don't those companies, which are based OUTSIDE of New York, politely tell the attorney general of New York to go f*** himself?

        The average New Yorker doesn't know what "lexicon", "politely" or "OUTSIDE of New York" means.

        Disclaimer: I've been to New York. I loved the people. Didn't like the atmosphere. Don't plan to go back.

        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward
          We don't want you here. fucker. =)
      • To use a term from the lexicon of the average New Yorker, why don't those companies, which are based OUTSIDE of New York, politely tell the attorney general of New York to go f*** himself?

        Gerald Ford told NYC to drop dead once, and it didn't work out too well for him come 1976.

        If Intel were to decide it would rather discontinue doing business in the state of New York altogether than halt these alleged anticompetitive practices, they'd be fools.
    • by barzok (26681)

      Oh, and the planned Fab that AMD was going to build in New York (but is probably not going to because its market capitalization is less than the value of a new fab post-Barcelona) has absolutely nothing to do with his "heroic" interests in going after Intel
      Damn, I was just going to post something like this. AMD's been waffling on that project for over a year now. Some extra "incentive" for them to start the project, perhaps?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Raul654 (453029)
      If you think Spitzer didn't go after any New York based interests, you must not be paying attention [wikipedia.org]. He ended up collecting huge fines from (among others) Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and Citigroup, all of which are based in New York City.
  • Do a search on "Fishkill AMD". Enough said.
    • Do a search on "Fishkill AMD". Enough said.

      I'm pretty sure the plant is supposed to be built in Saratoga County, not Fishkill. That's what all the Albany papers have been saying, anyway.
  • I'm of course interested in breaking up the vast majority of monopolies.

    Why is a state (as opposed to a Federal unit) spending it's money on anti-trust discovery?

    It would appear to me that New York, and every other state in the Union, has more pressing issues on which to spend taxpayer money.

    • by Dutch Gun (899105)

      Why is a state (as opposed to a Federal unit) spending it's money on anti-trust discovery?
      Because it's a great way for an ambitious Attorney General to get his name in the papers? And isn't it strange how the folks that bring these charges always seem to have a competitor company operating within their borders.
  • you know (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@NOSpam.gmail.com> on Thursday January 10, 2008 @11:03PM (#21994986) Homepage
    This is what happens when you have a rabidly anti-regulation administration in power at the federal level; the states have to take over some of those duties.
  • Even the New York Times makes it easy to follow the political trail of crumbs. Cuomo's press release http://www.oag.state.ny.us/press/2008/jan/jan10a_08.html [state.ny.us] says he is looking for "violation of New York and federal antitrust laws". He's the attorney general of New York. What is he doing looking into federal antitrust violations? Could it be that Cuomo wants to stir up dirt for NY senator Chuck Schumer to use in senate hearings or as a bludgeon against the Federal trade Commission, which has found no rea
    • Could it be that Cuomo wants to stir up dirt for NY senator Chuck Schumer to use in senate hearings or as a bludgeon against the Federal trade Commission

      Probably not; Schumer's relationship with Albany is normally not very cordial.
      • Yes, but the New York Times article about the suit stated "Among the officials who have pushed for a federal investigation into Intel are Senator Charles E. Schumer and Representative Kirsten Gillibrand, both New York Democrats. A.M.D. has pledged to open a $3 billion factory in upstate New York that will employ 1,200 people."

        So Schumer has an interest in protecting/promoting that AMD fab and its jobs in NY, whether California-based Intel deserves the investigation or not.
  • Now might be a good time to purchase stock in paper-shredding companies.

There is no opinion so absurd that some philosopher will not express it. -- Marcus Tullius Cicero, "Ad familiares"

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