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Timeline Set for Intel/AMD Antitrust Trial

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the squaring-off dept.

151

Vitaly Friedman writes "The stage is set for the biggest tech battle in years: the antitrust lawsuit filed by AMD against rival Intel. What sort of effect is it likely to have on the industry and the consumer? From the article: 'Last year, the company filed an antitrust lawsuit against Intel, claiming that their rival had "unlawfully maintained its monopoly by engaging in a relentless, worldwide campaign to coerce customers to refrain from dealing with AMD" for more than ten years. AMD has already subpoenaed computer manufacturers, retailers, and even Microsoft to provide documentation pertaining to the case. Now, the timeline has been set for the trial of the Megayear to commence.'"

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151 comments

Megayear? (4, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181006)

Megayear? Don't you mean Mebiyear?

Re:Megayear? (4, Funny)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181014)

After formatting it'll be more like .85 mebiyear anyway.

Re:Megayear? (1)

chivo243 (808298) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181408)

~dyslexic stoner- mega-trial of the year. pft megayear... sounds like a million years away

I really hope (1)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181010)

This lawsuit doesn't take a Megayear as stated in this blurb.. I'll never know the results!

Great.... (3, Insightful)

ZoneGray (168419) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181022)

Just seems strange.... Intel is the one accused of antitrust violations.... meanwhile the lawyers for the two sides get together and agree that it will take them two or three years to figure it all out.

Re:Great.... (5, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181059)

Exactly what part of "billable hours" seemed strange to you?

Re:Great.... (3, Insightful)

ZoneGray (168419) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181203)

In a better world, both companies would be suing the lawyers.

The part where... (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181511)

law companies collude to increase the billable hours yet don't get slapped with an antitrust investigation.

That's an easy 5-pointer (3, Insightful)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181267)

Just seems strange.... Intel is the one accused of antitrust violations.... meanwhile the lawyers for the two sides get together and agree that it will take them two or three years to figure it all out.

It's called civil procedure [wikipedia.org] and it is in place to ensure that each side gets an opportunity to bring in all relevant parties, conduct thorough discovery, and reach a decision that isn't arrived at in an arbitrary fashion. It's certainly not perfect, but if you were charged with a violation that could seriously affect your business, you'd want all the facts to be laid out on the table before a judge just arbitrarily swooped in and made a decision based on idle whim.

Sure, lawyers make money when companies have disputes. Perhaps that's just the sad side effect of the rule of law in a complex society. The discovery process in particular takes a very long time because finding all of the pertient information in a suit involving two massive organizations, spanning a period of many years is not easy.

Nobody wants the alternative, a society without laws, where the party that can dish out the most physical violence wins the dispute. Then again, lawyers are convenient scapegoats for all the wrongs of our society. It makes sense. After all, nobody really cares all that much for plumbers until their drain gets backed up.

Re:That's an easy 5-pointer (2, Insightful)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181380)

You make an almost compelling argument. Are you a lawyer?

The thing is, you give a sense of only two choices, and the dichotomy is false. We're not stuck choosing between anarchy and lawyers running everything. There are infinite levels of complexity in the legal system that can be simplified or eliminated, but since lawyers are currently the ones running everything, that won't happen.

Complex indeed (1)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181492)

There are infinite levels of complexity in the legal system that can be simplified or eliminated, but since lawyers are currently the ones running everything, that won't happen.

I agree that lawyers aren't likely to be the ones to make the legal system less complex. However, I think it's a natural consequence of living in a more complex society that laws and legal procedure becomes more complicated as well. This is particularly true given that we don't live in a homogeneous society, and we value individual autonomy above all else.

Everyone wants to have the ability to sue for whatever they want, whenever they want, and the legal system gives the people what they want, particularly with regard to torts actions. We can force legislative controls on the legal process, and sometimes that happens. For example, in California the cap on malpractice damages seems meet with approval by most of the voters.

The current complexity in the legal system is in many ways an outgrowth of the liberalization of pleadings and the opening up of the legal system to plaintiffs who otherwise would never have used the courts. One of the side effects of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s was the rise of legal aid. With the courts no longer the realm only of the wealthy, caseloads rose across the board. So there's been a tradeoff of added complexity for added access.

I take your point that a wide range of possibilities exists between the poles of anarchy and current American system of jurisprudence. However, I'm not sure many people think of it that way. The knee-jerk reaction to lawyers has existed ever since there have been lawyers. This is not a new phenomenon. The recent rise of corporate legal firms has worsened people's view of the profession. I think many of those concerns are legitimate, but at the same time I don't believe that simply because litigation takes a long time and lawyers make money at it is cause to believe that somehow the rest of us are getting screwed.

As for me, I'm a nontraditional law student. I've been out in the world for many years, and am coming into the legal field with a different perspective than most of the youngins in my class. They're ready to be molded and indoctrinated into the legal profession, but I'm much more inclined to be sceptical. In particular, I have noticed that my classmates tend to ignore the obvious conflicts of interest in a system where giant corporate law firms have their hands in every cookie jar. At the same time, the American legal system really is an amazing achievement. It is far from perfect, but it is in some respects an amazing construct. This enormous, complex, diverse country sticks together in large part because of that system.

Torts (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181524)

And the two hardest professions to file a tort against is the legal profession and the mental health profession.

Re:That's an easy 5-pointer (2, Interesting)

ZoneGray (168419) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181764)

Despite Intel's alleged transgressions, AMD is kicking Intel's butt badly in the marketplace. All that's being accomplished by this suit is to settle up between the two companies on a past dispute. AMD's value won't go up much if they win, and Intel's won't decrease much if they lose. It will have NO effect on the current or future marktetplace. In fact, Intel to this day is threatening a price war, it's just that they can't pull it off they way they used to (all they're doing is dumping $50 Celerons; when AMD has a 3-4% advantage in margin, it's tough to win a price war). Meanwhile, AMD has thrived despite any obstacles that Intel threw at them.

In other words, the market has already corrected for any transgressions, and AMD will be firmly in the driver's seat long before the suit is settled. The lawyers will be paid by future consumers of both brands.

Intel gets screwed either way (3, Insightful)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181023)

If they continue to do what they're allegedly doing, they might lose the case. If they relent a little, AMD its marketshare. At least the consumers win though.

Re:Intel gets screwed either way (1)

Ryan Monster (767204) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181270)

As has been pointed out numerous times in other posts, the consumer will win, but the consumer will also ultimately foot the legal bill through increased prices.

Re:Intel gets screwed either way (1)

utlemming (654269) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181288)

That's one of the problems of being a monopoly that excerises illegal influence -- when you get hauled on the table you don't look good. But giving up a little market share won't fix the problem, since AMD can still get damages. If AMD does have proof of what they're allegding then it won't really matter since Intel is going to punished on prior acts not current acts. It would actually be in Intels best interest to 'relent a little' since it would go to show some reform. I've read the AMD complaint and the Intel response, and frankly, it doesn't look good for Intel if AMD can back up even a fourth of what they have said. So all-in-all, it would probably be in the best interest of Intel to be absolte jack @sses about the whole matter. What Intel needs to do is to prove that they are not a monopoly now. But then again, getting sued and AMD proving that they were a monopoly in the past looks pretty bad as well.

Re:Intel gets screwed either way (1)

7of7 (956694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181441)

What Intel really needs to do is ignore AMD and just do what Intel does best, produce huge numbers of good chips and use the huge numbers to lower prices. Intel has proved it has what it takes to make good chips, look at the reviews of the upcoming Conroe chips. These chips are gonna be awesome and it only gets better from there. If Intel just looks out for Intel, they won't have to worry about AMD because Intel will be making a superior product anyway. As for the lawsuit, if, and that's a big if, AMD can prove anything happened in the past, Intel will just have to do whatever it takes to make the situation better and then move on and continue to ignore AMD. Ultimately consumers win when companies aren't fettered by their competitors and just endeavor to make the best product.

Re:Intel gets screwed either way (1)

mickwd (196449) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181710)

"If they continue to do what they're allegedly doing, they might lose the case. If they relent a little, AMD its marketshare."

So not breaking the law is the same as getting screwed ? Nice logic. Not that Intel is necessarily breaking the law of course - the court case hasn't happened, so that hasn't been proved. But if they haven't been breaking the law, they shouldn't worry about losing the case.

Re:Intel gets screwed either way (1)

BootNinja (743040) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181769)

But if they haven't been breaking the law, they shouldn't worry about losing the case.


That is a terribly naive statement. I have a family member who was convicted of a crime he did not commit. If the other side has really good lawyers, then it doesn't really matter whether they have a case or not. Things still tend to go their way.

Re:Intel gets screwed either way (1)

mickwd (196449) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181800)

But I suspect your family member was not a huge multi-national company able to afford really good lawyers to put their case.

Timeline (5, Insightful)

Metabolife (961249) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181033)

The trial is set to take place in 2008, don't know why this wansn't mentioned in the summary. It's hard to predict an outcome in this case. Was Intel simply using normal business sense when they tried to retain their power? It's not illegal to have a monopoly, but when you start harming the consumer things change. Did the large discounts Intel offered its customers to stay Intel harm the consumer or help? I'm sure many smaller businesses benefited from buying a certain number of (similarly priced to AMD) Intel chips to gain a discount. Isn't that creating more competition in the end? This case could set a precedent for what constitutes illegal practices by a larger company.

Re:Timeline (3, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181106)

This case could set a precedent for what constitutes illegal practices by a larger company.
Since the case only starts in 2008, this is largely dependent on who is elected president that year. If we end up with another pro-business administration, this case probably won't have any effect whatsoever. If we end up with a more consumer-friendly administration, then yes, this could be a precedent-setting case. Of course, this all assumes that Intel is found guilty, which isn't a particularly wise assumption to make at this stage.

Re:Timeline (2, Insightful)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181274)

What would be consumer friendly about Intel being punished, exactly? Their product is plentiful, cheap, and ever increasing in quality, not to mention embroiled in healthy competition. I don't see how hurtitng Intel at this stage would benefit anybody but AMD stockholders.

Re:Timeline (1)

chudnall (514856) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181459)

This is a private civil suit, not a government antitrust action. Why would the future occupant of the Whitehouse make any difference? The outcome of this case rests on the judge, the jury pool, and of course how strong a case AMD can bring to the courtroom.

Actually, by far the most likely outcome will be a settlement, but the terms will be determined by the above three factors.

Re:Timeline (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181568)

You are absolutely right. My bad. Derrr.

The difference (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181696)

The outcome of this trial would either encourage or discourage a future White House occupant to undertaking antitrust actions. Depending on the occupant the justice department could treat this as a precedent with which to construct more cases or as a fluke.

Re:Timeline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15181504)

You talk like ANY administration is pro-consumer.

pro-business (2, Interesting)

wytcld (179112) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181819)

You're assuming that someone "pro-business" will favor an Intel monopoly, while someone who isn't "pro-business" will favor a level playing field on which AMD (and others) can fairly compete with Intel. So here we are, in a time and place where business is supposed to be capitalist and capitalism is supposed to both thrive on and require free competition, yet it seems like a reasonable thing (to at least some of us) to say that the "pro-business" course is actually the one where competition is stifled and monopoly imposed - even though every business person who does not currently enjoy a monopoly (that is, most of us) will tell you that monopolies are very bad things indeed.

Pro-monopoly, when pushed far enough, is indifferentiable from communism. You thought we'd gotten rid of that, right?

Re:Timeline (2, Interesting)

Jimmy_B (129296) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181887)

<blockquote>Since the case only starts in 2008, this is largely dependent on who is elected president that year.</blockquote>

Actually, I rather doubt that. The case against Microsoft lost steam when Bush entered office because the federal government was one of the parties in the case. But for AMD v Intel, there's really nothing the White House can do to influence the result.

Re:Timeline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15181164)

ah but you see, consider what would have happened if intel had completely crushed amd. then they could have raised their prices all they liked and the consumer would be forced to pay. (that i assume was their grand plan). it is just that they didn't succeed.

just look at good ol' micro$oft in the early days of their monopoly when there was no real alternative to the office suite ...

f3773t

Re:Timeline (1)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181235)

I disagree. Unlike MS, Intel has been well-aware of potential anti-trust problems. I would even say that they've gone out of their way to keep AMD in business. There's been many times when Intel could have wiped them off the map. Even today, with AMD's faster/better CPUs, they're barely making money. If Intel started a real price war, it would be disastrous for AMD.

Re:Timeline (1)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181607)

Intel can't whipe AMD off the map, because then they would be a total monopoly and they'd get broken up like Bell. AMD was created soley to be Intel's competition and make sure there was still a "market" for processors. Or at least that's what I've been informed.

Trial of the Megayear? (1, Funny)

FridayBob (619244) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181084)

I think Megatrial of the year would make more sense in this context.

Doesn't anybody read over what they write before pressing SBUMIT? Doh!

Re:Trial of the Megayear? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15181121)

Doesn't anybody read over what they write before pressing SBUMIT?

Apparently you don't.

Re:Trial of the Megayear? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15181194)

I think that might have been a deliferate mistale © 1975 Bert Fegg

Megayear = 1,000,000 Years (2, Interesting)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181167)

A megayear is a million years [wikipedia.org] .

I even linked to Wikipedia so give me my Karma whoring [wikipedia.org] points.

Re:Trial of the Megayear? (1)

Marko DeBeeste (761376) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181284)

Wait till they finf out OJ isn't really behind it.

Monopoly? (0, Flamebait)

Jonathan the Nerd (98459) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181096)

AMD is getting close to 50% marketshare. Call me crazy, but that doesn't really sound like Intel has monopoly power.

Re:Monopoly? (1)

joshetc (955226) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181114)

I think that is just the retail marketshare. Excluding OEMs like dell, IBM, HP, etc.

Re:Monopoly? (1)

WinstonSmith2600 (961157) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181118)

AMD has 0% of the Dell market.

Re:Monopoly? (1)

Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181138)

Which is apparently starting to affect Dell's sales.

Re:Monopoly? (1)

tddoog (900095) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181127)

So, the question is: Do you punish someone for anticompetitive behavior even if they are bad at it? I like to think so, but most of the time the people who are good at it do not get punished (e.g., WalMart or Microsoft).

Re:Monopoly? (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181332)

Practically every business engages in anti-competitive behavior. That's how the game works - you beat your competition by doing things that hurt them. There are different ways of doing this: better products, better prices, better advertising, pressure on your suppliers for more favorable conditions, favors to your customers in exchange for exclusive business - the list goes on forever.

Re:Monopoly? (2, Insightful)

tddoog (900095) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181632)

Practically every business engages in anti-competitive behavior. That's how the game works - you beat your competition by doing things that hurt them.

This may be true, but that doesn't make it right. There is a difference between being competitive and being anti-competitive. It may be sort of a gray line, but that doesn't make all actions ethical or legal.

Some things are competitive: better products, better prices, better advertising

Some things are anti-competitive: pressure on your suppliers for more favorable conditions, favors to your customers in exchange for exclusive business

There are cases when things in either category can be switched. For instance lowering your prices until you put someone out of business because you have deeper pockets and then raising prices after the business has shut down. Or there are cases where a business promises to be sole source and provide you a discount because of volume sales.

I expect anti-competitive behaviour because businesses exist to make money, but if you do not draw a line anywhere, the strong will get stronger and the weak will get weaker.

I personally don't think we have done enough to keep businesses in check, but I don't care enought to do anything about, besides writing this post.

Re:Monopoly? (5, Interesting)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181128)

According to this article, [arstechnica.com] they've only recently hit 20%. That's a long way from 50%. It's certainly a respectable number, but Intel could easily keep them at bay by employing illegal tactics.

Re:Monopoly? (1)

Metex (302736) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181458)

I thought that at first and then I remebered something... When is the last time you saw an AMD add on TV?

I remeber the add with the fab workers in diffrent color suits and how they were selling dolls of them at comp USA.

I remeber the multiple adds with the Blueman group.

I remeber hundreds of adds for laptops which had the phrase "with a genuine intel inside..."

however... I never seen a AMD add on TV. I never seen a oh look we made this computer with an AMD add.

So having 20% of the market with no addvertizing of your product is pretty good imho.

Re:Monopoly? (1)

Jonathan the Nerd (98459) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181136)

Correcting myself...

The article says AMD has 20% market share, not 50%. Oops. Still, the fact that AMD was able to wrest 20% of the market away from Intel seems to imply that Intel doesn't have monopoly power, and whatever power Intel has is steadily eroding. I don't think an antitrust suit is justified.

Re:Monopoly? (2, Insightful)

reldruH (956292) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181210)

That still doesn't prove that Intel didn't have a monopoly, or that they illegally tried to maintain it. Just that if all that is true, they were unsucessful at it, which is entirely possible.

Re:Monopoly? (2, Interesting)

theLOUDroom (556455) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181217)

The article says AMD has 20% market share, not 50%. Oops. Still, the fact that AMD was able to wrest 20% of the market away from Intel seems to imply that Intel doesn't have monopoly power, and whatever power Intel has is steadily eroding. I don't think an antitrust suit is justified.

Think a little bit man!

What if AMD's chips were better than Intel's in every conceivable aspect (price, preformance, power dissipation, etc) and they can only manage a 20% market share? Doesn't that scream that's there's an artificial constraint placed on the market somehow?

I'm not necessarily saying this is the case, but stating that someone reached a 20% market share therefore their competitors couldn't possibly be doing anything illegal is just silly.

Re:Monopoly? (2, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181417)

"What if AMD's chips were better than Intel's in every conceivable aspect (price, preformance, power dissipation, etc) and they can only manage a 20% market share? Doesn't that scream that's there's an artificial constraint placed on the market somehow?"

No. Inferior products win all the time. Oh, and on a totally unrelated note, Intel markets their brand. There are Intel commercials on TV. From a mass-market (i.e. not well informed) perspective, how can AMD be seen as anything other than a cheap knock-off?

So, no, it doesn't scream "artificial constraint". That doesn't mean it isn't there, but that rationale alone doesn't float the boat.

Re:Monopoly? (1)

theLOUDroom (556455) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181471)

So, no, it doesn't scream "artificial constraint". That doesn't mean it isn't there, but that rationale alone doesn't float the boat.

You're missing the point.

My argument is that having a 20% is not anything even close to proof that your competitors aren't doing anything illegal.

Brand marketing, color schemes and whatever else you want to throw at me fall under the portion of my previous post etc.

What it comes down to is that 20% marketshare does not prove that the other guy isn't forcing people into illegal agreements, period. That was the comment and it's dead wrong.

Re:Monopoly? (2, Insightful)

cheezedawg (413482) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181694)

What if AMD's chips were better than Intel's in every conceivable aspect (price, preformance, power dissipation, etc) and they can only manage a 20% market share? Doesn't that scream that's there's an artificial constraint placed on the market somehow?

Sure- there is an artificial constraint at play here, but that constraint is AMD's lack of foresight to invest in manufacturing technology and capacity like Intel has. Quite simple, AMD lacks the ability to fill the kind of volume and low defect rates that the large OEM suppliers like Dell and HP require from their suppliers.

You might recall 5 or 6 years ago when AMD proudly announced that they had partnered with UMC to manufacture their chips, and AMD's CEO declared that now "AMD will not need to expend billions and billions of dollars on incremental production facilities to achieve our market share objectives." Of course that partnership ended up falling through, and now AMD CEO Hector Ruiz has publicly stated that AMD is capacity constrained- they are selling every chip that they can make. Manufacturing capacity doesn't just magically appear- it takes a lot of time and a huge amount of money- neither of which AMD is spent enough of.

AMD's position in the market today is a direct result of the poor decisions they have been making for years now. You cannot blame Intel for that.

Re:Monopoly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15181974)

"What if AMD's chips were better than Intel's in every conceivable aspect (price, preformance, power dissipation, etc) and they can only manage a 20% market share? Doesn't that scream that's there's an artificial constraint placed on the market somehow?"

Not necessarily. It's all about mindshare. How many Intel commercials do you see on tv? Yuh-huh? Now how many AMD commercials do you see on tv? Didn't think so..

Everyone knows Intel Inside(tm). Who the hell are these AMD guys who don't even have a competent marketing campaign to dazzle me like the mindless sheep that I am?

Re:Monopoly? (4, Insightful)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181258)

AMD has had about 20% of the CPU market for 10 years now, so nothing is eroding. Their problem is that it has been the worst 20% (least profitable consumer segmenet for the most part, alhtough that's changing).

Intel's argument is:
(1) AMD sells every CPU it can possibly make
(2) AMD only has capacity for ~20% of the market
(3) The fact that AMD can't make profits on these CPUs is AMD's problem, not Intel's.

Eh (2, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181821)

Those are very good points, but they are not a defense against monopoly behavior.

AMD doesn't have to prove that Intel's tactics caused damages, merely that Intel has "unlawfully maintained its monopoly by engaging in a relentless, worldwide campaign to coerce customers to refrain from dealing with AMD".

Proving damages and proving illegal behavior are two separate things. Even behavior that wasn't successful in thwarting AMD could still be ruled illegal under anti-trust laws.

If AMD wins, they may get damages as one of the remedies, depending on what the Judge thinks is appropriate.

Re:Monopoly? (1)

Davey McDave (926282) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181291)

By the time you have 50% marketshare you have such an sway over the market that it's effectively monopolisation. TRUE, you don't have all of the share, but you can start to employ tactics that are anti-competitive (for example drop your prices massively in the short term, boot your competitors out of the market entirely, then raise prices again.. look at Microsoft. They cut prices massively with the XBox, but because they have POWERFUL opposition, their tactics are a lot less effective).

I'm not joking, no UK business can actually have more than 25% share in any one market. In practice mergers that go over this are illegal, and continued aggressive growth in a market despite warnings is also illegal (to my understanding). This is why we have no Wal-marts and so forth in our country, there's always healthy competition.

Our equivilent, Tesco (wikipedia it for a bit of info, it's a major supermarket chain) is the nearest we have to a gigantic monopolising corporation. Because of the afformentioned legislation, they've had to spread into other markets, now they sell car insurance, internet access, loans, etc etc.. and they can't wrestle their way into those markets as effectively as they'd be able to wrestle further into the supermarket.. market.

A little bit offtopic, but it should give insights into how you can be a monopoly, without even owning all of the market.

Re:Monopoly? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181406)

where do the ther 75% of your OS's come from?

does Wal-Mart really have 25% of the US retail market? No, it has 8.9%

Re:Monopoly? (1)

Davey McDave (926282) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181519)

I didn't know they had that small a minority of the retail market, to be honest.

Also, remember that it's British based companies only that can be prosecuted under the law, meaning that international companies are pretty much exempt (which is a kick in the arse really isn't it).

You can find more info here [wikipedia.org] , it's not much but it's the best info there is online, it appears.

Re:Monopoly? (1)

LeddRokkenstud (945664) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181148)

AMD actually edged out Intel during retailers' back to school season, 2005.

2008: The Megayear (1)

LeddRokkenstud (945664) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181116)

2008: The Megayear January, 2008: Mac switches from Intel to AMD. May, 2008: AMD wins the court battle against Intel, winning nearly $1,000,000,000 in damages. July, 2008: AMD begins using it's money earned from the court case to work on a "secret" project. November 1st, 2008: AMD launches its secret project, named "Skyweb". November 2nd, 2008: Skyweb's AI goes haywire, and causes all machines to destroy the human race.

m_od 0p (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15181140)

users', Bi6Azz,

I just can't beleive it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15181152)

I wasted a whole 4 months of this megayear thinking it was just a reular old year. Man am i pissed someone's gonna pay for this one!

Wait 'til I tell that cute blond girl from my favorite chatroom!

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! (2, Funny)

ndogg (158021) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181162)

Come watch at the Court of the Mega-arena as two eternal rivals are pitted against each other in the legal battle of the century! </voice style="monster_truck">

Will AMD take revenge upon Intel? Will Intel be crushed under years of litigation from AMD? Watch for the exciting conclusion next time on, "The Processors." <soap_opera>

Great News (5, Insightful)

egarland (120202) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181180)

It's pretty obvious from the current Dell situation that Intel has tried to keep AMD out and that's illegal.

Anti-competitive behavior hurts everyone. It hurts the customers, the economy, competitors and eventually erodes the competitive spirit of the company engaging in it.

Anti-competitive behavior seems to be running rampant these days and its important that Intel get in trouble for it. If they get away with it sends a signal to the business community that it's ok, everyone can do it. If they get meaningfully punished it will send a signal to businesses to clean up their acts and play fair.

The capitalist economic system requires fair competition to work properly. The computers and electronics industries have gone far away from fair competition and everything needs a real shake up.

Re:Great News (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181263)

What exactly is the current Dell situation? Dell threatening to use AMD processors thus Intel continuing to give Dell a price break?

Re:Great News (1)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181598)

The Dell situation as last I heard is that every once in a while dell will threaten to introduce AMD and Intel gives them a price break, at the same time Intel says they'll stop giving that price break if Dell actually does use AMD. The second part is the illegal part, you can give all the volume discounts you like, but you can't penalize based on your customer also buying from other sources. Toy's 'r' Us got in big trouble for this a while back for trying to punish toy makers if Toy's 'r' Us wasn't going to be the sole distributer of a certain Toy by refusing to carry that model or that line at all. You can do whatever you want to make yourself seem like a more attractive business partner, but you're not allowed to use your marketshare to strongarm other businesses into being an ugly option.

You could always buy a Mac (0, Offtopic)

SpectreBlofeld (886224) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181281)

...nuff said.

Re:You could always buy a Mac (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181302)

And this discourages monopolistic behaviors how?

Re:You could always buy a Mac (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181385)

Yeah, getting one of those new Core Duo macs will certainly show Intel who's boss.

Re:You could always buy a Mac (1)

epee1221 (873140) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181765)

So can you tell me who's producing PowerPC Macs these days?

Re:Great News (1)

Davorama (11731) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181357)

It's actually not that obvious from the *current* dell situation since you can ask questions like:
Could AMD actually supply Dell with the number of processors required?

Is Intel bullying Dell or Dell bullying Intel at this point?

Does Dell's recent aquisition of Alienware being used as a stepping stone into a more diverse product lineup?

So sure, the past situation were different and more clearly anticompetitive on Intel's part. And no I'm not really arguing with the substance of your post. Like you say, anticompetitive behavior appears rampant these days, but it's more than just Intel that should face up to it.

I'll be interesting to see outcome (4, Interesting)

drpimp (900837) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181240)

Speaking of Dell (Dintel) and them aquiring AlienWare (AMDware), and rumored they will still be using AMD cpus this begs the question. Will Intel pressure them to convert AlienWare purchases to Intel chips in due time? On the other hand, about market share, consider that Intel puts out so many, and so catchy ads on TV that no wonder they have such a huge market share. Unless I am blind I have not seen an AMD commercial. Just goes to show so many commercials for Intel, even if I did see an AMD commercial at some point, obviously it did stick into memory!

Re:I'll be interesting to see outcome (1)

Kindgott (165758) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181327)

I think it speaks volumes about the quality of AMD products if you consider the fact that they don't have catchy or annoying commercials on TV and they still manage to get 20% market share.

Re:I'll be interesting to see outcome (1)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181626)

Not really, because most of that 20% is the left-overs from Intel in the bottom-end of the market. (Not saying that AMD doesn't make quality products, just describing where they sell them.)

Re:I'll be interesting to see outcome (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181994)

While it may be true that this is the core of their business, I think that quite a few people nowadays know AMD because of their higher-end chips. I know I do, and although I really didn't give two squirts for the x86 market until fairly recently (being a Mac user, mostly), and so perhaps I don't have the whole-market perspective, it seems like the perception of AMD as a low-end manufacturer isn't quite true. They have to be making a fairly good profit margin on those Opterons and the rest of the x86-64 stuff, and it stands to reason that market segment is going to increase in the future.

Re:I'll be interesting to see outcome (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15181356)

Ahhhhh! I wish people would stop using "beg the question" improperly. Question begging is a circular argument, not an act that leads to a question! It drives me up the wall.

Re:I'll be interesting to see outcome (1)

menace3society (768451) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181363)

The only advertisements I've seen for AMD have been 1) on the backs of gamers' t-shirts, and/or 2) convinced me that AMD was for poseurs. Intel's ads have people in cool suits and catchy slogans. I think in this case "anti-trust action" is code for "our marketing team sucks and we think Intel should pay us for it."

Re:I'll be interesting to see outcome (1)

soroka (794831) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181388)

> Unless I am blind I have not seen an AMD commercial.

Cannot say much about AMD advertisement strategy, but sports sponsorship immediatedly comes to mind. AMD has its logos on Ferrari Formula 1 cars, AMD's sponsorship is important in rugby football, soccer in Europe and in sailing sports.

Though recently Intel moved into Formula 1 sonsorship as well with the Sauber team taken over by BMW in this season. However Formula 1 has attracted many tech companies: SUN, Acer, HP all included.

Re:I'll be interesting to see outcome (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181699)

And the Discovery Team with Lance Armstrong...

Re:I'll be interesting to see outcome (1)

JumperPunk (969309) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181698)

AMD doesnt need to advertise. The product speaks for itself.

Re:I'll be interesting to see outcome (1)

drpimp (900837) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181831)

True, I agree 100%, but speaking for itself does not grab the attention of the non-computer savvy market, which is ALOT. Unfortunately, advertising does. As for people that are more computer savvy like most people on /. most of the "IN" crowd probably make up almost the entire percentage of the 20% of AMD's market share.

And it's not like the public will ever know either (0, Flamebait)

EvilPickles (943600) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181265)

Because of the stupid misleading, lying, evil media, most folks will never know this court battle took place. The media does not report current controversial laws, or anything worthy of 'news', ever. People will just assume Intel "rawkxxorz my boxxorz" and continue to buy, because people seldom know much about hardware. This is probably the case of the century, for computers, but for some reason the media and various computer companies have labeled the MJ trials as 'the case of the century', and claims that any other trials, which are more important in every way than this bullshit, people watched less of than the trials, and were less important.

Question for the hardware techies (4, Insightful)

Starker_Kull (896770) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181322)

Is there really that much of a difference between using an Intel chip and an AMD chip? I know you need different motherboards and chipsets, but isn't that about it? As far as I understand, there is no difference in the applications, other hardware, etc. So the only thing you would have to maintain (as a boxmaker) is another set of motherboard specs and the BIOSes for them, and in exchange you get (today) better performing chips for the wattage. The fact that a massive organization like Dell has not done so leads me to think that Intel has been doing some arm-twisting.

OTOH, with Apple, which likes working with as small a set of hardware combinations as possible, I can see why they would only want to maintain one microprocessor family, motherboard chipset, etc.

So hard would it really be (financially, organizationally) for a Dell, Gateway or Apple to add the AMD chip to its lineup? Anyone have any concrete knowledge about this?

Re:Question for the hardware techies (5, Informative)

Courageous (228506) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181365)

Is there really that much of a difference between using an Intel chip and an AMD chip?

Yes. However, it has more to do with the integrated IO fabric (hypertransport) than it does with the aspects of the chip that you consider traditional duties of a chip. The AMD solution is highly differentiated from Intel in this way, although the impact to single-CPU system purchasers is minimal. AMD becomes truly distinct as a platform solution at CPU counts > 2. In this market, Intel really is being hurt by AMD right now.

C//

Re:Question for the hardware techies (2, Informative)

Bozdune (68800) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181654)

Exactly. You don't have to know anything at all to instantly feel the massive performance difference that AMD provides over Intel on a dual CPU system. On a dual-CPU AMD Opteron we saw nearly a 100% improvement on a CPU-bound multi-threaded app (nature of the app is that it accesses roughly 1G memory in a fairly regular pattern). On Intel dual Xeons we measured only 27% improvement.

On a non-multithreaded app the two boxes are neck and neck. The above figures are for Opteron 32 bit vs. Xeon 32 bit.

Plus, I might add, Opteron at 2.8Ghz runs roughly even with Intel at 3.8Ghz benchmark-wise, again on a single CPU basis (differs by motherboard, of course, so your mileage may vary). Don't be hoodwinked by CPU clock speed differences.

Re:Question for the hardware techies (1)

j79 (875929) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181371)

To be honest, I think it's Dell that's doing the arm-twisting. With such a large market share, they can basically threaten to go AMD, and Intel will bend over backwards, to accomodate them.

Re:Question for the hardware techies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15181587)

It's not really much in the architecture itself but in development/performance tools and support that Intel is superior. AMD does not do compilers/performance support. Intel and IBM do. Apple by switching to Intel has support from Intel -- with Intel compilers and help with performance issues. With AMD, you need to rely on 3rd party companies, AMD does not do compiler research. AMD does only CPUs.

So, yes, if AMD and Intel will produce 100% compatible CPUs and Intel will produce only CPUs, no software or additional service, AMD and Intel will be more or less on the same foot. But it is not the case.

I don't see why Apple will provide some computers with AMD processors.
1) They use Intel compilers -- they would have to compile for a common set of instructions instead for Core Duo and above.
2) That would require more testing
3) Why have 2 CPU providers? They did have 2 providers for PowerPC: FreeScale and IBM. But it was more a transition thing. Eventually, they would have dropped FreeScale CPUs and go for IBM. But things did not worked out so they will go with Intel.

Re:Question for the hardware techies (1)

JumperPunk (969309) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181756)

My question is why did Apple, when already changing, go to Intel? AMD is clearly the better chipmaker. Granted, Intel has the resources to give a better offer, but if you are upgrading for a performance boost, why choose the chipmaker that is falling by the wayside?

Re:Question for the hardware techies (1)

mashade (912744) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181868)

Apple went to intel because of capacity concerns. AMD is already producing at capacity and the added load of all the 'Hot New Apples' would have strained them too much. Apple has been in the position before of not being able to push products because of supply chain problems, and they didn't want to do it again.

Intel can guarantee production rates, AMD can't at the moment.

The only clear thing about this case (1)

rqqrtnb (753156) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181382)

is that the timeframe calling for trial no earlier than 2 years from today is going to bore whichever audience this thing had to death. Such delays seem very anachronistic in a time where lots of people don't have the attention span to watch a 120-minute movie.

Advertisment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15181470)

Someone explain to me how: "unlawfully maintained its monopoly by engaging in a relentless, worldwide campaign to coerce customers to refrain from dealing with AMD" is different than any kind of advertising.

Re:Advertisment? (1)

akf2000 (262227) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181549)

This is more of a question than an assumption, but do Intel not force hardware manufacturers to run their 3 second intel ad (logo and Intel sound) within their TV ad slot?

I've always found that really strange, it's not as though someone would willingly want to advertise another company during their 30 second commercial. Or is it the fact that because the manufacturer is using Intels name, i.e. using Intel to sell their product, that they are obliged by contract to do this...

I don't know if it's the same siutation in the States but it's like that here in the UK.

Re:Advertisment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15181616)

>Intel not force hardware manufacturers to run their 3 second intel ad (logo and Intel sound) within their TV ad slot?


Force is the wrong word. Intel will pay for a percentage (50%, IIRC) of the advertisement if the HW manufacturer includes the logo / sound.

Re:Advertisment? (1)

akf2000 (262227) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181629)

Thanks, that had always puzzled me.

Re:Advertisment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15181689)

Intel doesn't require the logo/chime, but they do have a marketing program that subsidizes the companies who use it. So in essence, by using that chime, companies like Dell get Intel to pay for their commercials.

Re:Advertisment? (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15182007)

I don't think it's "forced," per se, but probably part of a co-branding agreement. I've heard that the whole "Intel Inside" thing gets PC manufacturers some sort of discount on their chips, and has specific requirements -- not just the stickers, but Intel's logo on the box, in promotional material, and probably in TV ads as well.

I remember this because there was some discussion a while back about whether Apple would buy into the Intel Inside campaign in order to get the discounts on chips for it's Mactel lineup. Obviously, they chose not to participate (thank god; the thought of having one of those stickers on the front of a pristine white Mac is pretty bad), and don't get whatever sweetheart deal Dell and Co. get in return for participating.

The case seems to be based on pricing (4, Informative)

twfry (266215) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181635)

From the limited pieces of info I've seen, the case seems to focus on pricing.

Basically Intel had capacity to supply over 90% of the market. They would price the first 80% of the chips high and then use "volume discounts" for the last 10% of chips sold, taking them from 80% to 90% market share. Normally this is legal.

However, the end result was that the "volume discounts" priced the chips between 80% and 90% market share at below the cost to produce them.

In order for AMD to get more than 10% market share, they had to compete with Intel on this 80% to 90% market share area. But since Intel priced these below cost to manufacture, AMD could not compete.

From what I've seen Intel could be in serious trouble if this holds up because AMD could claim damages on the revenues of 10% market share over 10 years.

Well, (1)

AWhiteFlame (928642) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181702)

I think this case just came a few years too late.. had this come before AMD64 hit it big, and I might think differently..

yuo fa1l i7? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15181703)

an arduous co8flicts that

Megayear? *Sigh* (1)

theonetruekeebler (60888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181739)

This is the wrong forum for this sort of hyperbole. In just three kiloeyears we've had more interesting trials, including the trials of Socrates, Jesus of Nazareth, the Gang of Four, O.J. Simpson, Claus von Bulow, Hauptmann, Hinkley, Clinton, SCO, blah blah blah. I also rather think the Nuremburg Trials have this one beat cold.
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