AMD sues Intel, the monopolist@ 2005/06/28
AMD has filed an antitrust complaint against Intel, alleging all sorts of unsavoury practices, and judging that from the fact that it was filed in court rather than in a blog, I would guess AMD thinks it is illegal.
AMD has gone as far as to set up a web site about the complaint. I guess this means it is going to be a pretty public fight.
No punches are pulled. Pay close attention to the bullet points, some are really juicy. If you really want dry, read the complaint itself, it is 48 pages of legalese, guaranteed to put one to sleep. There will also be a press/analyst conference Tuesday morning, and more details are bound to emerge.
AMD said Intel engages in worldwide coercion of customers to stop them dealing with AMD.
The 48-page complaint says 38 companies have been victims of coercion by Intel – including names such as Sony, NEC, Compaq, Toshiba and Dell.
AMD chief, Hector Ruiz, said, "customers deserve freedom of choice and the benefits of innovation – and these are being stolen away in the microprocessor market." People from "Osaka to Frankfurt to Chicago pay the price in cash every day for Intel’s monopoly abuses," he complained.
AMD says Intel has paid Dell and Toshiba huge sums not to do business with AMD. It says Sony was paid "millions for exclusivity" and as a result AMD’s share of Sony’s business went from 23 percent in 2002 to 8% in 2003, down to 0% today.
It claimed Intel paid NEC several million dollars for caps on NEC's purchases from AMD. And it further complains that, when AMD succeeded in getting on the HP retail roadmap for mobile computers, "Intel responded by withholding HP’s fourth quarter 2004 rebate check and refusing to waive HP’s failure to achieve its targeted rebate goal".
It said that in 2000, then Compaq CEO Michael Capellas said that because of the volume of business given to AMD, "Intel withheld delivery of critical server chips. Capellas, says AMD, told the company "he had a gun to his head," and had to stop buying AMD.
Papers were filed with federal district court for the district of Delaware, under Section 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act, Sections 4 and 16 of the Clayton Act, and the California Business and Professions Code, AMD said in a statement.
No matter what the outcome, this one is most assuredly going to provide as good a show as the Microsoft DOJ trial. Fights like this always get nasty quickly, and that means airing of all the industry dirty laundry. What you see today is the tip of the iceberg. Stay tuned, it is going to be a fun ride. µ
* BUT for Hector to start off his statement by saying that the microprocessor is the brain of every computer is a quip too far.