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AMD chief condemns Intel 'abuses'

Calls for end to illegal monopolies

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AMD boss Hector Ruiz today called for an end to “illegal abuses” by Intel - the AMD competitor that controls 80 percent of the worldwide x86 microprocessor market.

Speaking at the annual conference of the American Antitrust Institute in Washington, D.C., he proclaimed: There is no proper or defensible place for illegal monopolies in the 21st century global marketplace.

"I think that is a vision we share, as business leaders, regulators, economists, lawyers, and others dedicated to ensuring fair and open competition in the market. And I believe it is our responsibility - not just to the global economy, but to society as a whole - to make that happen."

In 2005, after the Japan Fair Trade Commission found Intel guilty of offering illegal rebates to Japanese PC makers, AMD filed an anti-trust suit against its competitor in the U.S. District Court in Delaware. The case has not been decided.

Though Intel's x86 market share dipped slightly in 2006, it regained a significant chuck during first quarter of this year. According to Mercury Research, Intel now controls 80.5 per cent of the worldwide market for desktop, laptop, and server chips that use the dominant x86 architecture.

Ruiz began his Antitrust Institute speech with a general condemnation of monopolies in today’s global marketplace, but gradually zeroed in on Intel. “I want to give you an idea of what it’s like to do business day in and day out when you are competing against an abusive monopolist,” he said. “How it makes no difference whether you are just as efficient – or even more efficient – than they are.”

He gave a laundry list of examples where Intel had used “illegal tactics explicitly aimed at preventing customers from doing business with AMD.” These include the findings of the Japanese Fair Trade Commission and investigations in Europe and South Korea, as well as the 48 pages of examples cited in AMD's U.S. complaint against Intel.

Ruiz believes that Intel's practices have stifled innovation across the PC marketplace, resulting in machines that are little different from those used 10 to 15 years ago. If these practices are curbed, he says, consumers will have access to more powerful machines at lower prices.

"In an IT industry without an abusive monopoly, computer manufacturers are empowered to flourish because innovation and differentiation are rewarded – rather than be obligated to a single supplier. The benefits are passed on to consumers through lower prices and greater choice in the marketplace." ®

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