Advanced Micro Devices, the world’s second largest producer of x86 central processing units, applauded on Wednesday the ruling of the European Commission against Intel Corp. The company says that the fine of $1.44 billion is a “fine” step towards competitive microprocessor market.
“Today’s ruling is an important step toward establishing a truly competitive market. AMD has consistently been a technology innovation leader and we are looking forward to the move from a world in which Intel ruled, to one which is ruled by customers,” said Dirk Meyer, AMD president and chief executive officer.
In fact, Intel has so far failed to convince any antitrust enforcement agency that its business practices are lawful and pro-consumer.
In 2008, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) issued a 26 billion won fine (approximately $25.4 million) saying that Intel’s abuse of its dominant position included coercing and paying customers millions of dollars on the condition that they use only Intel chips, delay launches of AMD products, and/or not develop any new products with AMD chips. The KFTC also found that, “South Korean consumers had to buy PCs at higher prices as domestic PC makers were forced to buy Intel’s pricier CPU”. In addition to a fine, the KFTC ordered Intel to stop the practice of offering payments to PC makers conditioned upon them not doing business with AMD. Intel is in the process of appealing the ruling.
In 2005, the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) ruled that Intel had violated the country’s anti-monopoly laws by illegally forcing full or partial exclusivity with five Japanese PC makers. Intel did not appeal the ruling.
In the United States, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and New York Attorney General’s office are investigating Intel for abuse of its monopoly position. In 2005, AMD filed private litigation in the US District Court of Delaware, which is scheduled for trial in spring 2010.