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Dell Settles With the SEC For $100M

kdawson posted about 4 years ago | from the irregular-as-a-three-dollar-bill dept.

Intel 239

Sri.Theo writes in with news of Dell's humbling settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The core of the complaint is that Dell took secret payments from Intel to keep AMD's chips out of Dell's machines. The SEC calls it "accounting irregularities" — Dell was dipping into this secret slush fund to bolster its results, quarter by quarter. At one point the payments from Intel made up 76% of Dell's quarterly operating income. "For years, Dell's seemingly magical power to squeeze efficiencies out of its supply chain and drive down costs made it a darling of the financial markets. Now it appears that the magic was at least partly the result of a huge financial illusion. ... According to the commission, Dell would have missed analysts' earnings expectations in every quarter between 2002 and 2006 were it not for accounting shenanigans. ... (Intel is expected to settle a long-running anti-trust case that has highlighted these payments in the next couple of weeks.) ... Michael Dell... and Kevin Rollins, a former boss of the company, agreed to each pay a $4m penalty without admitting or denying the SEC's allegations."

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Dude! (5, Funny)

The Clockwork Troll (655321) | about 4 years ago | (#33018564)

Dude! You're getting a cell!

Re:Dude! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33018604)

No, this is white collar crime, which the US frowns upon by making one pay back a small percentage of the damage caused by one's actions.

I would put long odds on either of these two

Re:Dude! (3, Insightful)

ilo.v (1445373) | about 4 years ago | (#33018670)

No, this is white collar crime, which the US frowns upon by making one pay back a small percentage of the damage^h^h^h^h^h^h PROFIT caused by one's actions.

There. Fixed that for you.

Re:Dude! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33018844)

No, this is white collar crime, which the US frowns upon by making one pay back a small percentage of the damage^h^h^h^h^h^h PROFIT caused by one's actions. There. Fixed that for you.

think there's a big difference or something? are you a fag, a nigger, or both? maybe a macfag cuz they're niggers even if they're white. yeah you use apple's products and services because you're a faggot, you faggot. fag. nigger.

isn't this a beautiful post

Re:Dude! (4, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 4 years ago | (#33018892)

Uhhhh - troll is trolling, but there is something of a serious question in the troll.

There really IS a big difference in the two statements. There is really no way to measure the damage caused by Dell's actions. If there is a way to measure the damages to AMD as well as the public, it would be a long, involved process that no one wants to invest the time and resources in.

However, it's pretty easy to analyze how much of Dell's profits resulted from this dishonesty.

Personally, I think the fine should be ALL of the ill-gotten profits. If they benefit by ten million, take that ten million, plus a punitive fine. If they profit by 100 million, take that 100 million, plus a punitive fine.

Sorry for feeding the troll, but I thought some reasonable people might need the distinction drawn for them.

Re:Dude! (2, Informative)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 4 years ago | (#33018912)

Actually - I'm a bit wrong in my own post.

IF this were a civil suit by AMD, claiming that they were damaged by Intel and Dell, and they wanted to recover damages caused by these irregular accounting practices, THEN the time and resources would be invested to determine how much damage had been caused.

In which case, AMD would probably recover those damages, plus a punitive award.


All the same, I'd love to hear about AMD filing suit against Dell and Intel.

Re:Dude! (1)

Machtyn (759119) | about 4 years ago | (#33018948)

As much as I want AMD to succeed (competition is beneficial), any Dell computer that had an AMD chip in it pretty much bombed like their current breed of bad capacitors.

Re:Dude! (1)

coerciblegerm (1829798) | about 4 years ago | (#33018960)

Probably intentionally.

Re:Dude! (2, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 4 years ago | (#33019158)

And whose fault was that? (hint it rhymes with Smell) When AMD was on top, and the only thing Intel had was the POS space heating Netburst, pretty much the ONLY AMD chips you saw coming in Dell, Compaq, pretty much all the major OEMs, were the bottom of the line Sempron and Duron chips, which of course were about the same as a Celeron.

Now that we know about the payoff I'd say it is pretty safe to assume that any chips by AMD that would kick Netbrust's ass (which was pretty much ALL the Athlon chips at that time) was nixed by Intel. How sad that so many had to deal with much higher power bills and having PCs that sounded like jet engines because Intel rigged the market. I am typing this on a circa 2005 Compaq with a Sempron in it, and while it makes a great nettop, it sure as hell ain't no Athlon.

So I would say the reason the Dell AMDs bombed was because Dell WANTED them to bomb, so they could keep getting those big fat checks from Intel. This is a perfect example of why we need markets regulated so one big bully can't simply kill the market for everyone else. You say you want AMD to succeed (I personally put my money where my mouth is and pretty much build and sell AMD exclusively now) but how many of those other chip manufacturers like Cyrix and Transmeta might still be around if Intel hadn't been distorting the market?

With something as important as CPUS we have to have competition, otherwise we end up like the bad old days when an Intel chip would set you back a thousand bucks. That is why I encourage all my fellow geeks to buy AMD/ATI wherever possible. for a good 90% of the tasks their more than fast enough, cool & quiet keeps them from heating up your place, the bang for the buck can't be beat (triples for $60? Quads starting at $99? Great for new builds), the new AMD Neo makes a great netbook chip (the Neo paired with a Radeon GPU makes for a heck of a media oriented netbook) and they have proved to be friends of FOSS by opening up the specs on their ATI GPUs.

So buy AMD, hell you can get a dual core kit [] for just $209. Hell by going AMD I built a nice Deneb quad loaded with 8Gb of RAM fully loaded for just $650 after rebate. How can you go wrong with that? And sorry about the length, I just feel strongly about having competition in a REAL free market. Go AMD!

Re:Dude! (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 4 years ago | (#33019470)

"(I personally put my money where my mouth is and pretty much build and sell AMD exclusively now)"

Ditto. I've never bought a new intel chip. Back in the day, I bought some used computers that were intel, starting with a 386. I replaced a couple of Intel chips with some off-brand (Green something ring any bells? I really can't remember the brand name now) that ran some faster. EVERYTHING that I've ever bought or built new was AMD. These days, I'm rather picky, and use Opteron chips exclusively.

Bang for the buck? AMD chips are unlocked. Overclocking? Go for it. Virtualization? Ditto. There are no hidden features on AMD chips, for which you have to pay extra. Granted, if you buy a bottom of the bin chip, and you try to overclock it, you're nuts - it is bottom of the bin because it failed one or more QC checks. You're not going to get top performance out of a discounted chip that was known to have failed tests. But, every feature that AMD offers is available and unlocked in every chip they make.

Re:Dude! (1)

RajivSLK (398494) | about 4 years ago | (#33019066)

Personally, I think the fine should be ALL of the ill-gotten profits. If they benefit by ten million, take that ten million, plus a punitive fine. If they profit by 100 million, take that 100 million, plus a punitive fine.

For that to be fair you can't just take the money from the companies bank accounts now. The current owners of the company are not entirely the same people as those who owned it when the fraud was perpetrated. Countless investors have bought and sold over the years and the investors who own the company today may not have benefitted from the fraud at all. If I bought dell shares two weeks ago why should I pay a fine while investors who profited and sold years ago are laughing to the bank?

Re:Dude! (2, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | about 4 years ago | (#33019390)

You shouldn't pay a fine, but your shares should lose value. Doesn't matter who owned them then, when you bought them you bet on Dell making you money. Sorry if that didn't turn out.

What you're suggesting is tantamount to corporate immunity from prosecution, for pretty much anything, so long as a couple of years have passed.

But that's how capitalism works! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33019432)

NOTE: not that I'm particularly fond of capitalism. But it's even worse if the powerful are allowed to change the rules mid-game.

For that to be fair you can't just take the money from the companies bank accounts now [...]

If I bought dell shares two weeks ago why should I pay a fine while investors who profited and sold years ago are laughing to the bank?

Ah, but then, you as a prospective buyer wouldn't have any motivation to steer clear off those copanies playing dirty.

If I buy an "used car" for a "very good price" and it turns out to be a stolen car -- do you think I get to keep it?

Ah. Thought so.

Re:Dude! (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 4 years ago | (#33019504)

For that to be fair you can't just take the money from the companies bank accounts now. The current owners of the company are not entirely the same people as those who owned it when the fraud was perpetrated. Countless investors have bought and sold over the years and the investors who own the company today may not have benefitted from the fraud at all. If I bought dell shares two weeks ago why should I pay a fine while investors who profited and sold years ago are laughing to the bank?

The whole matter is an SEC investigation, so it is all about misleading investors. It's not about Dell receiving money from Intel, it is about Dell receiving money from Intel and then telling the public they were making lots of money by buying their computer parts so cheaply; they should have told investors that they received money (illegally) from Intel, in which case investors would have known to keep their hands off DELL shares.

If you own DELL shares now, that is just tough. You bought a part of the company probably at a higher price then you would have if you had known all the facts, and you are held responsible for all fines the company gets for things they did in their past. Just like you pay for them making the wrong business decisions years ago (can you imagine how much money Dell would be raking in if they had bought Next instead of Apple and all Dell computers were shipping with DellOS X instead of Windows?)

Re:Dude! (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 4 years ago | (#33019524)

I won't argue law - but I'll argue morality. Intel has been in the news often, being accused of various unfair business practices. People who own Intel stock now have had all the same opportunity to see that news as I have. They SHOULD HAVE been paying attention. They SHOULD HAVE thought something like, "You know, where there's smoke, there is probably a fire. I don't know how honest Intel is, and I don't want to be burnt when I find that they are dishonest."

If I invest in a munitions manufacturer, and suddenly, the entire world bans munitions, I can't claim it's unfair that I've lost my investment. You take your chances, you pay your dues, learn from your mistakes, and move on.

Re:Dude! (2, Interesting)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 4 years ago | (#33018872)

The right thing to do would be to expropriate all these companies and make them transparently run non-profit organizations, democratically administered by their workforce, supplying technology to us all for cost + labour.

Companies that engage in this sort of fraud should not be permitted to ever be run for profit again. The necessity of their existence should be something they are required to justify to the citizenry regularly, and when they are no longer able to do so, they should be dissolved.

Those who perpetuated this fraud should be publicly executed. They have misdirected millions if not billions of people for many years, and caused more harm and suffering in their time than any rapist or serial killer.

Re:Dude! (2, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 4 years ago | (#33018928)

Balance, my young Jedi knight.

I hate the fact that corporations will throw Grandma, Cousin Susie, and her baby kitty under the bus for profit. All the same, corporations serve society. Without greedy, profit driven investors and company officers, where would we be today? I don't exactly like where we are right now, but it's better than living like feudal Europe, IMHO

In short, lighten up a little bit. Instead of public executions, let's just put all those bastards into Chinese sweat shops, working for ten dollars a day for the rest of their lives.

Re:Dude! (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 4 years ago | (#33018964)

It's wrong to put those people to work. It leads to a situation where we can outlaw more and more things as a way to get out of taking responsibility for ourselves, and it leads to a situation where we are reliant on a steady supply of criminals to keep things operating smoothly.

If we could ostracize them, that would be better than execution. But there is no place both within our reach and beyond our borders, so there is no where to ostracize them to. No, public execution is the right way to deal with this type of thing.

Re:Dude! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33019026)

It has been more than a year now. []
Are you going to show some proof, or are you going to continue screaming yourself hoarse?

Re:Dude! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33019038)

What a disgusting proposal, to suggest the virtual enslavement of their employees, none of whom committed the crime, as punishment.

And by and large, execution is not a just punishment for any crime, even murder. You have truly sunk to inhuman levels. Bravo!

A better solution would simply be to remove the legal protections which are currently enjoyed by corporations. Nobody ever makes that proposal because you all cry out for more government control and power, like a drowning man searching for a glass of water.

Re:Dude! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33019044)

you forgot the closing bonus, future stock profits and that
I fucked all the board's wifes, Your son and your golf caddy.
That, And I sucked your tool in the executive water closet.
Try to screw me!
God, I hate liberals.
GOP 2010!

Re:Dude! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33019152)

Naw, cost of doing business.

Re:Dude! (1)

ISoldat53 (977164) | about 4 years ago | (#33019210)

You can't believe the damage these punks did to the company. The rotten management made it a very unpleasant place to work. The rot went all through the company. The pressure to make numbers caused a lot of people to cheat knowing if they looked good then it made everyone up the chain look good and bumped the stock price up. It's not surprising the quality sucks.

Re:Dude! (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 4 years ago | (#33019344)

No, if you or I stole that kind of money, we'd get a cell. (And yes, he stole it; Dell is a public corporation, ergo its cash reserves belong to the shareholders, not the CEO.) Michael Dell gets a "fine" which will hurt him about as much as losing a $5 bill would hurt the average Joe. "It's good to be the king!"

And good news for the SEC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33018566)

They'll be able to customize how the $100 million is paid. Stock? Overnight. Check? 3-7 days. All $20s? 3-6 month delay.

I... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33018570)

I fucked you dead great grandmother right up her rotten asshole!

Re:I... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33018736)

Mulder and Scully would like to have a word with you.

It better be freaking humbling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33018612)

“ [dell] manipulated its accounting over an extended period to project financial results that the company wished it had achieved.”

Think about how people invested in dell over other companies thanks to their fake numbers. Something tells me that this is just a slap on the wrist compared to the actual damage done by these "accounting shenanigans".

Oh well. Guess that's just a cost of doing business.

dell shop, looking to jump ship (4, Interesting)

itzdandy (183397) | about 4 years ago | (#33018618)

My company currently runs a dell shop, running a mix of vostros, optiplexs, and over $100,000 in Dell servers.

I have been having issue after issue with the power supplies in pretty much every dell I run. We really like to run the SFF style units and they use a specially sized power supply. Dell refuses to acknowledge that there is an issue even though I have a 25% failure rate in power supplies at the one year mark. They offered to give me a SWEET deal of $120 for a replacement power supply (on a $400 unit), down from the $150 list.

So Dell has screwed consumers over on systems with bad capacitors, screwed consumers over with bad power supplies, cheated their shareholders by falsifying earnings, and competed unfairly by accepting bribe money from intel. bad company, bad products.


Re:dell shop, looking to jump ship (1)

unencode200x (914144) | about 4 years ago | (#33018686)

Check your power, that's an awful lot of problems. We have dozens of dell servers and thousands of PCs w/o issue.

Re:dell shop, looking to jump ship (4, Interesting)

itzdandy (183397) | about 4 years ago | (#33018710)

hundreds of workstations and a dozen servers, in nearly 50 different locations through the US.

Older machines seem fine, but the units purchased in the last 12-14 months have been dropping like flies.

Re:dell shop, looking to jump ship (2, Interesting)

pspahn (1175617) | about 4 years ago | (#33018756)

The PSUs were probably replaced by "Qualified Dell Service Personnel" after they were returned by their previous owners.

Re:dell shop, looking to jump ship (1)

itzdandy (183397) | about 4 years ago | (#33018778)

It really doesnt matter to me how or why or whatever, but Dell should see my issue and act instead of charging me a boatload to fix the machines.

If I take my error rate of ~25% and the discounted price of $120 for a PSU, as well as shipping of the defective machine back and forth $60, then I need to ad $90 to the price of each unit. That totally negates the price advantage of Dell over HP, Acer, IBM, etc.

Re:dell shop, looking to jump ship (1)

pspahn (1175617) | about 4 years ago | (#33018824)

Well that was my point. They service customer's machines with hardware that is overpriced and overused. Great business model, they use it in Vegas everywhere.

The guy that set up all the computers and stuff at my work is such a cheesy Dell fanboi. The reason he likes them so much is that he can service the machines with very little hassle, just order a replacement and not worry about anything other than installation.

The problem with this method is that the customer is stuck wasting time (=money!) waiting for a machine to be fixed. I took several days off work to work on my finals, and I kept getting emails from him every day asking when I would be in so that he could come to replace a busted HDD. Really dude? Why do I have to be there? Just come in and turn a couple screws (or in the case of a Dell, depress some obscure release tab, turn a couple screws, then release another tab).

Re:dell shop, looking to jump ship (4, Interesting)

Arcady13 (656165) | about 4 years ago | (#33018790)

You need to pay for the 3 year warranty. Most Dell stuff we have (over 15,000 systems) breaks in the second or third year. We generally replace machines on a 3-4 year cycle. In the 4th year, the only thing that seems to fail is the hard drive.

Re:dell shop, looking to jump ship (1)

Egdiroh (1086111) | about 4 years ago | (#33018810)

That's exactly what $400 dollar small form factor machines are supposed to do, suck, suck hard, and fail if you look at them wrong

That's the math of computers. Quality & Performance & Miniaturization & Aesthetic = Price. Enough people refuse to accept this and because there are vendors willing to take advantage of those people, many of them do so as not to lose market share and have their company killed by "Market Analysts" (Another group of people that seem incapable of doing the math of the real world)

Hello, I'm a PC (1, Interesting)

mevets (322601) | about 4 years ago | (#33018956)

no offense intended, but why would anybody be a "dell shop"? Sure, pick up a couple here and there, but what do they offer outside of:

1. Green + Purple plugs so you don't plug the mouse and keyboard in wrong.
2. Charcoal grey cases, so they don't look like whiteboxes (which they are).

For half the price you could have tonnes of "standby's" and be way further ahead. If you really wanted to use your money wisely, become a mac shop.

Re:Hello, I'm a PC (1)

adolf (21054) | about 4 years ago | (#33019078)

Indeed. I can understand (maybe past-tense) having an IBM shop. Or an Apple shop. Or, perhaps back in the day, a DEC shop, an SGI shop, or a Sun shop. Maybe even a Novell shop.

These are/were descriptive of unique ways of doing things.

But having a Dell shop? Feh. It's a fucking PC.

(Incidentally, at my day job we almost always buy Dell machines. Some of which are SFF. We experienced a couple of power supply issues on some Dimension 4600-ish P4 boxes that were already a few years old, but things have been clucking along nicely since then. Why Dell? Simply: Machines get retired when they're old-and-useless, not old-and-busted (which almost never happens), so we keep buying Dell. I would never characterize us as being a "Dell shop," however -- they're just fucking computers.)

Re:dell shop, looking to jump ship (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33018982)

My small shop has 11 dell workstations. So far, 3 of the 11 power supplies have died.

How About This? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33018620)

Why doesn't the US pay a small fine to the FCC and cancel the national debt?

"Don't admit fault"? (2)

WarlockD (623872) | about 4 years ago | (#33018646)

I get the reason why they did it, so they are not "criminaly negigent" but seriously? 4 years of having to restate all their earnings and eveything is cool?

I get why, eveyone made a killing off the stock price jumps, but still, somone isn't getting jail time for this.

Re:"Don't admit fault"? (2, Insightful)

1stworld (929011) | about 4 years ago | (#33018706)

This is how Crony Capitalism works. As long as you pay either to candidate campaigns or in fines, there are favors to be had at the Washington D.C. Bazaar. Government only goes after the little people and companies because they don't pay up.

WTF (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33018748)

They colluded and engaged in a conspiracy in violation of SEC laws and they get a fine?

A fine? This is beyond pathetic. The SEC may possibly be the worst organization on earth.

Re:"Don't admit fault"? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 years ago | (#33018758)

After all, this is the same SEC that couldn't catch Madoff or Stanford, even though there were people begging them to check those two out. Regulation is only as good as the regulator enforcing it.

Re:"Don't admit fault"? (1)

causality (777677) | about 4 years ago | (#33018874)

After all, this is the same SEC that couldn't catch Madoff or Stanford, even though there were people begging them to check those two out. Regulation is only as good as the regulator enforcing it.

I think you miss the point. They were supposed to turn a blind eye to it. Otherwise you'd waste an opportunity to implement Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis aka Problem, Reaction, Solution aka the Hegelian Dialectic. No one with any real power would have benefitted from preventing this. So they didn't act on any of the tips about Madoff or Stanford. From the point of view of the real "powers that be", these are good regulators, the very best that money can buy -- once someone buys them, or those who appoint them, they stay bought!

Re:"Don't admit fault"? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 years ago | (#33018900)

I have no clue what you are talking about. You sound like you're wearing a tinfoil hat.

Re:"Don't admit fault"? (0, Offtopic)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 4 years ago | (#33018954)

Oh - wait. Wearing a tin foil hat changes the sound of your voice? Ooooohhh! I love it. Gotta get one before I make my next crank call!

Re:"Don't admit fault"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33019452)

History, power, negotiation: a game of tit-for-tat. One side acts. The other responds. That's what he's talking about.

Time to get to scammin' (5, Insightful)

RenHoek (101570) | about 4 years ago | (#33018664)

Only a $100M fine? Shows that crime _does_ pay time and again..

Re:Time to get to scammin' (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | about 4 years ago | (#33019142)

Well, 100 mil is pretty high when you consider that for only 500 million you could rip off the whole planet for trillions..

Just Dell? (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 years ago | (#33018666)

While it certainly appears, from TFA, that tales of Dell's l33t supply chain ninja-ness were fraudulently overstated, the sheer magnitude of their dependence on Intel's "rebates" makes me wonder if they were the only one.

During that period, whenever I went shopping(either for personal use, or doing comparisons for employer bulk purchases) Dell always had very competitive prices; but not wildly different from comparable stuff from HP and friends. Either Dell's supply chain management absolutely sucked goats through capillary tubing, or some of their competitors must have had similar slush funds to work with.

Re:Just Dell? (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 4 years ago | (#33018992)

...or they were more profitable than any other computer manufacturer.

Re:Just Dell? (1)

mochan_s (536939) | about 4 years ago | (#33019150)

Dell always had very competitive prices; but not wildly different from comparable stuff from HP and friends

I remember Dell pwning everyone in prices during that time. Dell was by far the cheapest every time anyone asked me to buy them a computer. And, cheapest by far. The only choice used to be which type of Dell.

Maybe you didn't get those Dell coupons with $ and &s in them that would take 40% off. If you just went to or, they had similar prices but they had those coupons that would take lots of amount off.

Re:Just Dell? (1)

phoebus1553 (522577) | about 4 years ago | (#33019220)

... snipped ...
Dell always had very competitive prices; but not wildly different from comparable stuff from HP and friends. Either Dell's supply chain management absolutely sucked goats through capillary tubing, or some of their competitors must have had similar slush funds to work with.

I can't speak for the likes of the acers and gateways of the world, but the likes of IBM and HP have other slush funds to draw off of.

Example, at work we run iSeries for SAP. I just talked to our team lead about the replacement to our current *DEV* system due in December. It's 300Kish, which is a scant million dollars less than the previous system, which is about the same as the prod system that will be replaced 6 months later. We are installing a $400K disk system from IBM in the next few weeks. They rebadge NetApps as 'nSeries'. Their pSeries is the same as an iSeries and a 4-way box is like 50K the way we just built one... to run TSM. I'd bet the same goes for HP with their HP-UX hardware.

Long story short, they have a high end business to supplement their income where the desktop is either low margin, or just to keep you 'IBM Blue' or whatever they call a HP shop. Dell is still Dell in the server room, affordable from top to bottom, until you get into the EMC stuff.

And yet the geeks/nerds/uninformed... (1, Interesting)

KillShill (877105) | about 4 years ago | (#33018674)

keep on buying MonopolisTel chips. AMD processors are just as good, cheaper and you don't support the Microsoft of the hardware world. There actually is a good alternative here.

VermIntel has a lot of shills online, who visit online forums/message boards trying to downplay or dismiss the vast amount of illegal activity they've been up to.

And no friends, this isn't just from 2003 onwards. There are many OEMs, resellers and industry analysts who knew they were doing the same stuff way back in the late 80's at least.

Look at the Nvidia (another anti-competitive corp) vs Intel lawsuit... making OEMs buy atom chips with their accompanying chipset CHEAPER than buying the atoms alone.

Then there's the Vista-capable lawsuit... guess what happened there? Intel had a ton of useless slow video chips but forced Microsoft to allow them to call it Aero (Vista) capable.

Remember how much Intel cheats on benchmarks? How much they pay reviewers? How they cripple non-Intel CPUs in their "industry standard" compiler?

Remember that Skype deal? []

The list goes on and on and on. This is just off the top of my head.

Microsoft (that worthless monopolist scum) gets a well-deserved "fart in their general direction", yet Intel walks scott free.

Intel has been accused and convicted multiple times on several continents. They only just pay a small fraction of the money they fraudulently and illegally made and they walk with nary a geek/nerd/joe sixpack the wiser. They still have a sterling reputation.

Intel = Microsoft (of the hardware world).

Let's see how many slashdotters and/or people of conscience can bring themselves to even acknowledge this.

BTW, I've been Intel and Nvidia-free since 2001. I'm working on the windows part. (I'm a gamer)

Re:And yet the geeks/nerds/uninformed... (1)

yuhong (1378501) | about 4 years ago | (#33018712)

I found this Agner Fog article: []

Re:And yet the geeks/nerds/uninformed... (1)

haruchai (17472) | about 4 years ago | (#33018780)

Please don't bring this up again - I've already been through a ton of flamewars defending AMDs position where I couldn't get the opponents to agree that, while Intel has no obligation to support AMD, deliberately ignoring AMDs optimizations is bad faith.

Here are links to previous Slashdot stories on the topic [] []

Re:And yet the geeks/nerds/uninformed... (5, Informative)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 4 years ago | (#33018776)

Hate to spoil your rant but this has nothing to do with any monopolies but with incomplete disclosure to investors by Dell. It goes something like this: Intel essentially gives Dell a discount on its products - nothing wrong there. Dell puts the discount amount into a reserve fund. It later draws money from that reserve fund as needed to make the numbers in a given quarter. The problem was that it didn't disclose this information to the investors, making them believe that its quarterly earnings were higher than they actually were. At least that's how I'm reading TFA, please correct me if I'm wrong.

Re:And yet the geeks/nerds/uninformed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33018898)

Also relevant is that the discount was far greater than it otherwise could have been had Intel been fairly competing with AMD. Saying "we will give you an extra big discount if you exclude our competitors" is a violation of antitrust laws, and just plain wrong.

Re:And yet the geeks/nerds/uninformed... (1)

chriso11 (254041) | about 4 years ago | (#33018902)

Intel was not paying 'discounts'. It was taking an anti-competitive action.

Re:And yet the geeks/nerds/uninformed... (2, Insightful)

bennomatic (691188) | about 4 years ago | (#33019192)

Well, Intel's actions may have been illegal. Discounts are one thing; hell, everyone loves volume pricing, right? But if the terms are exclusivity, and if they're doing it with all the major vendors, then it becomes a monopolistic, anti-competitive behavior.

And let's not forget the actual amount of the discount; if you discount stuff low enough so that nobody can compete, and it just so happens that you're selling products below production price, the case could be made that you're doing something called "dumping" which is itself an anti-competitive behavior.

So there could be more to this than disclosure issues. I don't know for certain, but just as it's illegal both to give and receive bribes, there's probably good reason to decry the behavior of those compliant in the monopolistic behavior.

I'm not saying I know all the details, by any stretch; all I'm saying is that the GP poster has as worthy a point as your own.

Re:And yet the geeks/nerds/uninformed... (2, Interesting)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | about 4 years ago | (#33019264)

How do exclusivity deals with major vendors count as monopolistic? It just sounds like competition to me. I like AMD's competition to Intel, but just because Intel is the chip leader for PCs doesn't mean it should be hampered in trying to compete with its competition. Can you point me to an antitrust statute that says exclusive deals with manufacturers counts as anti-competitive behavior?

Re:And yet the geeks/nerds/uninformed... (1)

Nursie (632944) | about 4 years ago | (#33019408)

If you are the market leader, and discount your goods if you get an exclusivity deal, that's pretty anticompetitive don't you think?

Re:And yet the geeks/nerds/uninformed... (1)

the entropy (1331573) | about 4 years ago | (#33019088)

Well, as long as you're a gamer you can't be Intel, nVidia and windows free. ATI drivers are still really shitty on linux, getting better though.

Screw Settling...Nail These Swine (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | about 4 years ago | (#33018684)

I'm sick and tired of seeing these ethics-free corporations buy their way out of trouble without actually admitting to wrong-doing. If they aren't willing to sign a public statement that says, "We broke the law, but we'll save everybody a lot of trouble and money by simply paying for our criminal acts", the state should prosecute them to the full extent of the law, and use the well-established cowardice of market traders to drive down the stock price with carefully-timed announcements, added charges and perp-walks for the CEO's.

Enough of this bullshit! It's time to take the Free World back from these conscienceless scumbags.

Re:Screw Settling...Nail These Swine (5, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | about 4 years ago | (#33018796)

Actually, I think it is worse than that. Management conned shareholders about how efficient the company was, and therefore how much the company could be expected to earn in the future. Who were the victims here: the shareholders. The SEC investigates and now the company has to pay a fine. Whose money pays the fine? The shareholders. Put simply, the victims of this fraud get to pay the fine. Yah! Well done SEC, that will provide a real incentive to stop execs doing this in the future. [Yes, I know that Michael Dell has to pay $4M, but this is a small amount to him -- probably less than the fraud earned him]

Re:Screw Settling...Nail These Swine (2, Insightful)

cacba (1831766) | about 4 years ago | (#33018908)

Are these the same shareholders that elected those who committed the fraud?

Re:Screw Settling...Nail These Swine (1)

glodime (1015179) | about 4 years ago | (#33019042)

Are these the same shareholders that elected those who committed the fraud?

Probably not. Shares trade daily, so the two sets are most likely not a match. Also, most companies have a significant percent of shareholders via pension, 401K and mutual funds. The individual shareholders in these cases don't get to vote for board members. Since fund administrators often abstain from voting by policy, it is not unusual for a large shareholder (like Michael Dell) to effectively control the vote. Also, it is not unusual to have only those that support the CEO to be nominated for a board position, effectively giving any shareholder actually interested in voting out current board members no feasible option to do so.

Re:Screw Settling...Nail These Swine (2, Insightful)

ISoldat53 (977164) | about 4 years ago | (#33019180)

Michael, et al, controls the voting. We piddling shareholders have no real voice in the matter.

Re:Screw Settling...Nail These Swine (2, Insightful)

bennomatic (691188) | about 4 years ago | (#33019202)

Well, sort of. Mom and pop probably typically don't vote, but sign off on proxy statements to their investment bankers who do the voting. Any major investment banker with enough proxies to make a difference probably knew what was going on and made a mint themselves, but mom and pop didn't know.

Even if they did vote, they did so based on lies and fabrications. GIGO, you know. The only thing you can blame them for is getting into the stock market in the first place. Once you're in, it's an elaborate game that's tilted significantly towards insiders who openly flaunt the law because the penalty is pennies on the dollar.

Nail 'em? What did they do? (1)

Just_Say_Duhhh (1318603) | about 4 years ago | (#33018974)

Dell was able to cut a deal with Intel, which isn't a crime. The SEC got all bent out of shape because of the lack of disclosure, but if Dell disclosed the sweet rebates they got on Intel processors, do you think Intel would give them the deal next time? No way!

It wasn't harmful to Dell stockholders until all of this was disclosed, and Dell stock went down the drain (OK, Dell stock was going down the drain anyway, but this didn't help). Oh, and then Dell started selling AMD-based systems, so I guess AMD was glad the deal was brought out in the open.

So now if Dell convinces a supplier to cut a great deal, but the supplier says "only if you don't tell everyone, or they'll ALL want the same deal" does Dell say, "No thanks, we'll pay the higher price."???

Re:Nail 'em? What did they do? (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 4 years ago | (#33018994)

So now if Dell convinces a supplier to cut a great deal, but the supplier says "only if you don't tell everyone, or they'll ALL want the same deal" does Dell say, "No thanks, we'll pay the higher price."???

If the deal is: "we will give you a break on the price of our processors as long as you break the law by failing to publish proper accounts", then, yes, Dell should turn the deal down.

Re:Screw Settling...Nail These Swine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33019248)

I second the motion but both Michael and Kevin are so well connected they will never be touched.

So tired of Intel and Microsoft (1)

mrflash818 (226638) | about 4 years ago | (#33018692)

They both get caught.
They both get punished.

Yet, they are teflon, and seem to come out unscathed. Still monopolists, too. (sad sigh)

All I can do is continue to use AMD and Linux, advocate AMD and Linux.

Wish Intel and Microsoft would fade away....

Re:So tired of Intel and Microsoft (1)

pspahn (1175617) | about 4 years ago | (#33018770)

What a short-sighted comment. I get that you're a fan of the underdog, but without the swagger of the Intels of the world dictating the market, your AMDs of the world would be just as bad.

I like competition. That's what makes your AMD chips more affordable.

I cry bullshit (1)

Dishwasha (125561) | about 4 years ago | (#33018744)

"In its statement on the SEC settlement the company played down Mr Dell's personal involvement, saying that his $4m penalty was not in connection with the accounting-fraud charges being settled by the company, but was "limited to claims in which only negligence, and not fraudulent intent, is required to establish liability, as well as secondary liability claims for other non-fraud charges."" --TFA

Yes, because a deal that represents anywhere up to 76% of the companies quarterly earnings is SO likely to not have had Mr. Dell's personal and close attention when the deal was brokered with Intel. Oh, and gosh golly, it really must have slipped his mind when he was reviewing the shareholder reports before they got submitted.

"Sorry about that negligence and those pesky SEC and their rules. Oh, and I can keep my job too because I f'ing said so (notice the company isn't called Shareholder Computer Corp). Sincerely, M. Dell."

I don't understand. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33018784)

Why not just sell the Intel chips to Dell at a lower price? It would have accomplished the same thing. This seems like a Rube Goldbergian way of doing business.

Re:I don't understand. (1)

pspahn (1175617) | about 4 years ago | (#33018846)

I'm guessing that would mean more work for the accountants.

Re:I don't understand. (5, Interesting)

copponex (13876) | about 4 years ago | (#33019002)

This seems like a Rube Goldbergian way of doing business.

You'll probably want to sit down for this.

Most of the business world based on lies, because most of the business world depends on marketing. And marketing, once you break it down, is manipulation. Why does your girlfriend want a common blood stained rock on her finger to symbolize fidelity? Why do some people spend two hundred dollars on a steak one night, instead of cooking one for themselves every night for a month? Why did everyone think that home prices should outpace inflation for eternity? Because businessmen are very good at lying to you, and conning you into buying things - ideas, products, services, status - that are worth far less than you think they are. That's where the money is.

When men thought capitalism could lead to liberty, the world was radically different. Manufacturing was just hiring enough people to hand-make everything that you could sell. There was no automation, no assembly lines. Laissez faire makes sense when it's hard to hide cheating. Plus, most of the population believed that charging interest was a mortal sin, because making money without working was immoral.

In today's world, people often have no idea of what they are buying. Bonds in financial markets are purposefully inscrutable. Required company filings are mangled beyond comprehension. As proof of this, just look at the subprime meltdown. One guy in California figured it out, and had to beg Goldman Sachs into creating the instrument that would allow him to short the housing market bonds. They had gotten so good at selling, and so bad at actually analyzing the market, that Wall St conned itself into trillions of dollars of debt. Luckily, "main street' - ie, the people who actually perform economic work - were there to bail them out. And Wall St, since a few of them had figured it out early, was busy selling the debt to public entities like schools, county governments, and retirement funds because they were easy marks.

And now, since a company's value is perceived to be the things Wall St says about it, you have a totally fucked up system, where companies are trying to seek the approval of these greedy, useless motherfuckers, who wouldn't know a day's work if it hit them in the mouth with a sledgehammer. We have an entire industry - the financial system - that doesn't perform any useful work. It's like a cancer on the economy, but one that's very successful in centralizing wealth into their own corner. We could replace all of the banks, insurance agents, and ratings agents with totally transparent branches of government, and get on with the business of really innovating - new technology to improve the world, not just figments of financial imagination, repacked and resold to sucker after sucker. But for some reason the American people think that would be the end of the world. Socialism! Communism! The loss of liberty and freedom and democracy!

I wonder who gave them that idea.

Not everything is marketing (0)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 years ago | (#33019122)

Why do some people spend two hundred dollars on a steak one night, instead of cooking one for themselves every night for a month?

Because one perfect steak is worth more than a month of mediocre steaks.

Now sometimes you don't get that even with a $200 steak. But there are reasons to spend more than is seemingly rational, when you place a high enough value on quality of results without having to put a lot of your own time into it.

You make a lot of good criticisms, but I think people need to be reminded from time to time that the world is not just about marketing, because after all in the end real people are buying (or not buying) products. Marketing can give you some boost but it basically can only amplify what is fundamentally true and good about a product - marketing that lies makes the consumer more pissed off and is more harmful than if you had just skipped marketing to start with.

Re:I don't understand. (1)

OneMadMuppet (1329291) | about 4 years ago | (#33019480)

If only I could mod you to 6....

Frustration (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 4 years ago | (#33018786)

I'm really frustrated with settlements. They seem to circumvent several basic principles of justice:

  • One should be considered innocent until proven guilty. If the SEC can't get a conviction, a judge should not allow a settlement. It sounds like a shakedown, not justice.
  • They let the wealthy buy their way out of criminal convictions, whereas the poor cannot.
  • They permit a corporation's finances prevent its workers from facing criminal responsibility for their actions.

I've heard arguments for settlements such as, "We're not sure we could get a conviction. This lets us get at least a modicum of justice" Well if you're not sure, then maybe you shouldn't be trying to prosecute? It's for a jury to decide what's a just punishment, not the prosecutor.

Or, "It lets us safe the legal expense of prosecuting." Well, if the system is so broken that cases can't be fought within the financial means of the government, then shouldn't it dawn on someone that it's way broken for individual citizens with limited financial resources?

America was founded with some beautiful ideals, but I don't have a lot of respect for those who have evolved its legal practices.

Re:Frustration (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about 4 years ago | (#33018806)

Any fine that is payable is better than being held criminally responsible. The precedent has been set, therefore "they" can do it again knowing that the "fee" is affordable.

54% (1)

copponex (13876) | about 4 years ago | (#33019020)

54% of the Senate is lawyers. The rules are not made to achieve justice, but to delay the case long enough to pad the bill.

Re:Frustration (1)

adolf (21054) | about 4 years ago | (#33019102)

Just curious:

"It lets us safe the legal expense of prosecuting."

Is your use of "safe" some sort of typo, or an attempt at loosing the English language even further?

Re:Frustration (1)

bennomatic (691188) | about 4 years ago | (#33019240)

I'm not a lawyer, but I'm close to some who do and have done work in similar arenas. Sometimes, you know what will fly and what won't, and while you are absolutely sure of the rightness of your case, you know that if it goes to trial, there are a million ways that your opponent, if they're any good, could bust the case down. Maybe simple technicalities, but if that means that your client who deserves some remuneration get's nothing, you don't want that to happen.

So you bluster and you bargain. You puff and you imply. And when it comes down to it, when you get an offer for a settlement, if it's better than what you think you'll get in court, you go to your client and try to convince them to settle.

I've heard stories of judges walking in on the first day of trial, having read the briefs, and saying, "why isn't this settled? why is this in my court room?" In some cases, judges will also suggest what they think a proper settlement is prior to the case being fought.

Oh, but why are there only financial damages instead of criminal ones? Well, that's all about corporate law, right? You can't put a company in jail. If you just seize all assets, you could be destroying the livelihoods of thousands, or tens of thousands of hard working, innocent people who did nothing wrong. So if it's possible, you try to pierce the corporate veil and go after individuals. But even then, if you don't think you can win such a case, you fall back on what you can do.

And in many cases, these settlements which replace criminal sentences do indeed bring some justice. People who were wronged get compensated. And sometimes it is enough to--at least temporarily--make a philosophical change in the company leadership. OK, maybe not that last thing, but some good does often come out of these settlements.

Re:Frustration (2, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 years ago | (#33019336)

They let the wealthy buy their way out of criminal convictions, whereas the poor cannot.

It's all good, the poor get out of it their own way. Like the homeless guy who lives near my house, who got caught for DUI (don't ask where he got the car) declined to pay the fine and took jailtime instead. It was all good, he got a free haircut. Free food. He didn't have to pay for anything. Plus they gave him some good medical treatment for a skin rash he had. So the poor have their own way of getting out of it (this other guy I know got a commercial-robbery case thrown out of court because all he managed to steal was a couple cans of tuna. True story. This despite the fact that he randomly steals stuff off people's porches, from goodwill, etc).

It's the middle class that gets screwed. Going to jail is really bad if you have to keep a job, and paying the fine is bad too. Be good if you are middle class, because otherwise you will get screwed.

Best Alternative(s) to Dell (1)

glodime (1015179) | about 4 years ago | (#33018972)

Right now, when a family member or friend asks me what type of computer to get, I start my reply with, "I wouldn't buy anything from Dell". But after that, I don't have much useful advice. Just knowing that Dell is an unreliable reseller of PCs isn't exactly the answer that they are looking to find out. I would recommend paying a little extra for reliability, but what manufacturers and resellers are reliable? If someone seems open to it, I recommend, but most are not. What say you, slashdot reader?

Re:Best Alternative(s) to Dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33019046) is great. You can buy the components you like, and it only takes a few minutes to bolt them together.

Of course this doesn't work so well for laptops and netbooks, but for desktop machines, I don't understand why anyone would ever buy a whole machine from a marketing company like HP or Dell. You can get better quality stuff from Newegg for cheaper, and you get to build the system *you* want, rather than the system some beancounter decided would be the most profitable.

Re:Best Alternative(s) to Dell (3, Interesting)

networkzombie (921324) | about 4 years ago | (#33019182)

Although I build systems for family from parts off Newegg, there are problems with it. When a single component breaks what do they do? They have figure out which component it is then determine the brand and then call tech support for that component. Then they either have to troubleshoot that particular component and remove it from the computer to send it back. Who's going to help them? Me? So the more systems I build, the more calls I get for hardware and software because the user usually can't tell the difference (or they think they are one in the same). No thanks. If they buy a Dell, they get a system with the same length warranty on all the parts and one number to call for problems where they get a friendly English speaking foreigner to hold their hand while they troubleshoot and remove the offending component. Not a bad deal I say. Then again, I can build a kick ass system with kick ass parts that Dell wouldn't dream of using because of their profit margin, which is why my parents have a Lian Li case with an ASUS USB 3.0 board sporting an i7 930. The equivalent Dell would have been some ugly ass gaming rig worth its weight in gold.

Re:Best Alternative(s) to Dell (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 years ago | (#33019128)

Unfortunately, "reliability" is something of a crapshoot. All the branded OEMs have a whole bunch of models, manufactured by one or more contractors, often at multiple facilities, out of parts made by dozens or hundreds of further entities, with designs changing all the time and without clear warning(ie. two "Brand X Model 123"s might have completely different PSU designs, one rev0 that is a piece of shit, one rev4 that is rock solid, while a "Brand X Model 123" and a "Brand X model 234" might have identical designs).

Some models suck, some just last and last(same goes if you are buying the bits and assembling yourself. Some revisions of some designs are just crap, some are excellent).

At least for me, I've gotten to the point where I wouldn't trust a single piece of hardware from anybody to handle something critical. There is no HDD manufacturer good enough that you want data you care about to only be on a single drive. There is no computer maker good enough that you want your ability to do you Very Important Work hinge on the uptime of a single machine(never mind the risk that you'll spill a drink on the thing at the wrong moment). I am less concerned about trying to optimize for reliability of any specific system than I am about making sure that backups and some amount of redundancy are in place, and trying to buy from sellers with a reputation for not screwing around and wasting your time if you need support.

My advice, assuming an adequately well-heeled questioner of no particular technical competence, is first "Get a backup service, or device, or both. All hard drives die. Some die sooner than others. When yours dies, you will be very sad if you do not have backups." After that, we can discuss the much less important question of what brand to buy.

OUCH! (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | about 4 years ago | (#33019064)

4 million dollars from Michael Dell - now THAT HAS GOT TO HURT. I'm going to send that fat boy some fucking ramen to tide him over.

How about reprecautions for one's actions?! (5, Insightful)

JakFrost (139885) | about 4 years ago | (#33019186)

"The company neither admitted nor denied guilt as part of the settlement--a common phraseology in such deals."

How about a big FUCK YOU to Securities and Exchange Commission and the US Department of Justice! How about you dig a little deeper, get the dirt on the direct involvement by Michael Dell and the other board members during the 4-year period and put these schmucks in San Quentin Federal Penitentiary. If you can't find the evidence, just use your powers of Extraordinary Rendition to send a few of these folks over to the Middle East or Africa, a little water boarding, pull of some fingernails and you could get just enough information to find hard evidence to try and convict these people.

I could name a dozen good computer companies who disappeared during this time frame due to Dell's stellar rise in the computer market though shenanigans like this. Good computer companies that produced better products when under because they didn't cook their books like Dell did and didn't take bribes from Intel.

Like another poster said, the pure computer companies that did survive like HP (previously Compaq), Acer, etc. might have been involved in this also.

Intel did just settle the record breaking $1.4 Billion USD to the European Union's commission for violating anti-trust regulations or having to pay $1.2 Billion USD to AMD previously in a similar settlement.

I'm still glad to see that the NY State case against Intel is still on-going and it would be great if other states and companies jump on this bandwagon for lynching Intel since these guys have been playing some dirty games for a long time. Time to hold Execute Officers directly responsible for criminal and immoral decisions directly liable for their actions and orders. Too bad that our government is in the pocket of big corporations and that no real sanctions will be taken against these business scumbags.

Dell's success is now forever clouded by this and I think that looking at their shady little deal with Intel, I wouldn't put it past them if there was one going on right now with Microsoft for operating systems. Dell just did pull Ubuntu Linux OSes computers from their web site just as Linux is getting more acceptance by people due to Google's Android mobile OS success in the mobile market and also the upcoming tablet computer revolution. Microsoft isn't playing in this field and they are scared since they cannot compete.

AMD: seek RIAA-like punitive damages from Dell (2, Interesting)

mykos (1627575) | about 4 years ago | (#33019206)

Here's a way to give the consumers better competition and get rid of a shady computer manufacturer: Seek punitive damages that are two thousand+ times the actual damages (set actual damages at an amount equal to Intel payoffs to dell). Everyone wins, except Dell, and good riddance.

Oh Boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33019234)

Their wrists must be smarting.

I always find it amazing how..... (1)

3seas (184403) | about 4 years ago | (#33019294)

....such matters benefit the SEC but the end consumers who were hurt by it never see anything returned to them in compensation, though stock holders might.

In Soviet Russia... (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 4 years ago | (#33019356)

Hmm, I think we should all quit doing business with the USA. The Russian and Itallian Mafia vendors are more honorable. At least they don't periodically fsck up the whole world economy the way the Yanks have a habit of doing.

Show of hands (2, Interesting)

WinstonWolfIT (1550079) | about 4 years ago | (#33019384)

Who stuck with Compaq/HP when Dell was cheaper? I had client after client after client show me the Dell loss-leaders in comp magazine ads, and I stuck with what was at the time a better, if ultimately sinking, ship. After this disclosure about Dell, I feel a bit exonerated.

Not logical. (1)

seeker_1us (1203072) | about 4 years ago | (#33019502)

Dell buys chips from Intel.

Intel allegedly pays Dell not to use AMD chips?

Intel's payments allegedly make up 75% of Dell's quarterly operating income?

This doesn't add up. That would mean that Intel was not making any profit from one of their biggest customer, but would even be LOSING money by doing it?

Right. That kind of deal would be AMD's dream.

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