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AMD now has 'more than allegations' against Intel

They totally [blank]ed our [blank]

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

On Hewlett-Packard: Auspiciously following a full page of censored text, "The result: HP took only 160,000 of the one million free processors that AMD had offered it. No rational computer manufacturer would leave 840,000 free, state-of-the-art microprocessors on the table unless it had been foreclosed from using them by exclusionary conduct. And this is precisely what happened."

While the censored text above the statement blocks what the deal was really about — a vendor turning down 840,000 free chips warrants some raised eyebrows. Certainly unusual behavior.

On Sony: "Starting in late 2002, Intel's anticompetitive, all-or-nothing 'conditional' rebates dropped Sony's AMD purchases for consumer-based systems from approximately 30% to zero within a matter of months. Intel's efforts were anything but oblique."

On Gateway: "AMD is only beginning to understand the nature and extent of Intel's predatory tactics towards Gateway over the past decade."

On IBM: "Although AMD-based server products are presently offered by all the major OEMs catering to enterprise customers, Intel has to this day kept AMD from gaining anything more than a toehold in IBM's valuable commercial server space."

Curious, because IBM sells a bunch of AMD-based boxes. This would probably be the big toe they're talking about.

Compiler shenanigans

AMD also accuses Intel of secretly fixing its compiler so AMD boxes would run poorly. It claims that in 2004, Intel set out to nullify a performance advantage in its Operon and Athlon 64 chips by implanting a hidden function in new versions of the Intel compilers.

"These caused the finished software program to determine whether or not the executing computer ran on an Intel-manufactured microprocessor. If an AMD microprocessor is detected, the software programs would run using inefficient executing commands, or simply crash."

"The effect was dramatic:" states the brief. And apparently so much so that the description is censored.

Intel's answer

Meanwhile, Intel's version of the brief again asserts that its rival's struggles in the chip market are a result of AMD's own poor choices. It maintains that exclusive deals cut with customers were made as a part of regular competition and ultimately benefited consumers.

"Stripped of hyperbole, AMD's Complaint accuses Intel of competing too aggressively, by offering customers attractive, discounted prices and marketing and technical support to win their business," the filing claims.

Our absolute favorite passage from Intel's brief:

AMD’s goals are clear. [Redacted redacted redacted.] That is what this lawsuit is all about.

The U.S. lawsuit is just one battlefield where Intel currently faces antitrust charges. The European Commission, South Korea, Japan and others have also launched probes into the company's business practices.

Looking ahead, both AMD and Intel will have a chance to reply to their briefs with responses that take up no more than 40 pages. Then, that very Special Master will hold another hearing on June 5th where things will get oral. Eventually, he'll pop out a decision as to the merits of the submissions.

A copy of the AMD's latest brief is available here.

Intel's brief is broken into part I and part II. ®

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