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jmke 1st July 2005 16:47

Could AMD be the Next Intel?
The microprocessor industry has received a nice shake since AMD’s announcement of filing an antitrust complaint against Intel due to its monopoly in the market. Whether all of AMD’s claims in its 48-page complaint are valid is up to the court to decide and Intel to counter argue, but at least some of what AMD states is 110 percent correct. Throughout my meetings with manufacturers, I have received information about Intel’s stronghold on various partners, so AMD is suing for the right reason. AMD asserts that Intel is a monopoly and isn’t a fair competitor, but what would AMD do if it was in Intel’s position?

Wouldn’t it use its power to manipulate the industry and market if it had the opportunity? I would certainly expect so. In fact, it’s quite logical to believe that AMD wouldn’t think twice before offering exclusivity to industry partners in hopes of preventing them from working with Intel if it had the chance. After all, continuous growth is a fundamental concept of business. Although it’s understandable that AMD is having a frustrating time obtaining higher market share with superior products, displaying itself as the corporation for consumers is totally absurd. AMD sure has an advantage currently because its products are superior, and it can tangle Intel with a monopolistic argument, but imagine AMD’s pricing model and strategy if it had the resources Intel had in combination with superior products. If Intel is pricing its inferior microprocessors at ridiculously elevated and unjustified prices, AMD would’ve probably put an even bigger price tag on Athlon 64 chips given the opportunity.

Then there’s also the talk of fair competition. Yeah, right. AMD wouldn’t believe in the virtue of fair competition if it were Intel. Do you really expect that AMD would be such a consumer advocate if it had the influence to control the market? Definitely not! As it currently stands, it’s all a matter of luck for the world’s second largest chipmaker. Thankfully, its architecture worked out in a way where Intel is in a substandard position with its products. AMD wouldn’t have filed this complaint if the Athlon 64 architecture hadn’t panned out the way it did.

That said, I am with AMD on this one. Intel certainly needs to be taught a lesson for some of its monopolistic behavior, but as far as AMD is concerned, it isn’t the consumer advocate as it portrays itself to be. And knowing that AMD isn’t the value chipmaker it once was, things have started to change already. Wouldn’t you agree?

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