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AMD throws down the gauntlet

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on June 28, 2005

You’ve got to credit chipmaker AMD for being incredibly gutsy (or is it deeply short-sighted?). Its latest lawsuit against rival Intel accuses the bigger chipmaker of both bribing and coercing its pc maker-customers to use Intel’s chips over AMD’s.
It’s a carrot-and-stick technique AMD has been complaining Intel has used for decades, but the 48-page lawsuit filed yesterday makes one thing very clear: AMD plans to try to force pc makers to fess up about whether it’s all true. Frustrated with the pace of a years-long European Union investigation into potential antitrust violations, the company outlined private conversations it had with execs at big pc makers such as HP, Gateway, Acer and Sony, and now faces the tough job of getting these same people to go on the record with their statements. (It looks like AMD also plans to subpoena documents seized by Japanese regulators, as well as corporate e-mails from pc makers to bolster its case).
Could this burn the bridges that AMD has built with some key pc makers over the past two years with its stunningly powerful new chips? CEO Hector Ruiz says he had no choice. He argues Intel has used every dirty trick in the book to stymie AMD’s success anyway.
If AMD already has received some assurances that pc makers will testify against Intel, the case could be pivotal to future earnings at both companies. On the other hand, if no one steps up to help AMD out, this one could be dead in the water.

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Reader Comments


June 28, 2005 06:16 PM

Chipzilla is really trying to be the only game in town. There are plenty of other great chips being made (see Cell from IBM, Power from IBM, AMD's offerings) but large distributors are afraid to use them because they fear Intel's backlash. This leaves only smaller players using these great chips and consumers not getting good choices unless they opt for a more novel and less accepted system. I would hope Intel would act more ethically in matters. Making money is not the only reason to exist. One can be successful and not predatory. And no matter what anyone says, the best and most innovative chips have never, ever, ever come from Intel. Never. Those awards goto Motorola and IBM. Intel is like the Japanese making VCR's. They didn't invent it or even make the best, but they made the most and the cheapest.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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