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Intel-FTC settlement ignores price fork

Important issues still need airing

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Analysis Before Intel reached its infamous settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) last week, there were rumours that further investigations into how it priced its processors were under way. We are still waiting for the final ratification by the board of the FTC of the agreement, but perhaps they might care to reflect that there are other ways and means Intel uses to keep its market position. free at lastPC Data's figures for market share in the desktop US retail market in February are encouraging for AMD, but it is facing relentless pressure from Intel on the pricing front. On April 11th next, Intel will step up its highly aggressive attack on AMD by slashing and burning its prices on Celerons and PIIs yet again. Given this, it seems that the real focus of Intel's attack is not just the K6-III, but the up-and-coming K7. If it can chip away at prices until the K7 launches in June, it will mean that AMD's new processor will face intense price competition right at birth. Perhaps it may be unduly cynical of us to suggest that Pat Gelsinger's "demo" of an overclocked .25 micron Pentium III Xeon at CeBIT last week was intended as a spoiler for the demo of the K7 AMD was showing at its stand. It certainly queered AMD's pitch... If the FTC vs Intel case never happens, it will be a real pity, as important issues remain still unsettled. If you take a look at the finalised list of witnesses on the FTC site, it makes for compelling reading. ®

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