FTC's Intel lawsuit could prove a boon for rivals AMD, Nvidia
Intel fires back at FTC while analysts calculate the benefits for its chip-making rivals
Computerworld - The antitrust lawsuit filed today by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's against Intel Corp. could turn out to be a great Christmas present for Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and Nvidia Corp.
In the suit, the FTC charged that Intel, the world's largest chip maker, is basically holding the semiconductor industry hostage by the sheer force of its size and might. The government contends that Intel has illegally used its dominant market position to stifle competition and strengthen its monopoly for the past decade.
The FTC's complaint charged that "Intel's anticompetitive tactics were designed to put the brakes on superior competitive products that threatened its monopoly in the CPU microchip market." The commission is seeking an order to keep Intel from using threats, bundled prices or any other offers to manipulate prices or smother competition.
The FTC lawsuit comes just a month after Intel agreed pay AMD $1.25 billion to settle antitrust litigation. And just a week before that, the state of New York filed a federal suit alleging that Intel had threatened computer makers, made payoffs and engaged in a "worldwide, systematic campaign of illegal conduct."
"This is significant," said Rob Enderle, an industry analyst with the Enderle Group. "Intel was on a settlement path. The FTC really has thrown them one heck of a curve ball. This puts the focus back on them and they need to find something that approaches middle ground to get out from underneath this cloud."
In a statement, Intel countered that "Intel has competed fairly and lawfully. Its actions have benefited consumers. The highly competitive microprocessor industry, of which Intel is a key part, has kept innovation robust and prices declining at a faster rate than any other industry. The FTC's case is misguided."
Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Business Technology Research, noted that despite the settlement with AMD, Intel should have expected an FTC lawsuit considering the heavier hand wielded by the administration of President Barack Obama's administration on antitrust issues.
"What you have here is a company that has always played hardball in an environment where the watchdogs were basically drugged for eight years," said Gottheil. "The Bush administration was not active in antitrust. It was very passive. So [Intel] became bolder. Intel has always been tough and then there [they hit a period] where there were no refs. The whistle never blew so they got tougher and tougher. This led to some chicanery. Now this administration is more active in the antitrust space and Intel is a clear object of scrutiny."
And while all of this is bad news for Intel, it's nothing short of a gift for competitors like AMD and Nvidia.
- Intel confirms using ARM-based chip core in smartwatch it demoed at CES
- You'll want a PC with Intel's new chip for the battery life alone
- Desktop chips zip past 4GHz; next stop 5GHz?
- After a tough year, Intel and HP push ahead on Itanium
- Dell testing 64-bit ARM server with AppliedMicro chip
- Physicist says Moore's Law is 'collapsing'
- Intel's Ivy Bridge chips raise the bar for rivals
- Intel ready to take on tablet chips
- AMD execs tout firm's tablet plans
- AMD moves away from Intel rivalry, rethinks course
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Gartner 2013 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup/Recovery Software See why CommVault was positioned as the #1 leader in Gartner's 2013 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup/Recovery software for the 3rd year in...
- Forrester Report: CommVault is a Leader in Enterprise Backup and Recovery In this report, Forrester takes a deep dive into the evaluation criteria, how CommVault is positioned and the features and functionality that make...
- Forrester Wave for Enterprise Backup and Recovery Read this report to see how CommVault continues to outpace its competitors and why Forrester positioned CommVault Simpana as the top backup and...
- Architecting the Network of the Future Networks need to change, as does the way IT thinks about and manages them. In addition to reliability, IT must now add higher...
- Four Myths of High-Productivity App Dev Debunked Debunk the main myths surrounding high-productivity application development and how both platforms have overcome them.
On-Demand Webcast: 7 Reasons to Choose VoIP
Thinking about a new phone system for your business?
Be sure to watch this informative webcast. Steve Strauss, small business columnist for USA...
All Processors White Papers |