Feeds

Emails allege ATI-Nvidia price fixing conspiracy

'A jury would like to see this'

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

New details have been released on the evidence backing a civil lawsuit against Nvidia and ATI (now owned by AMD) - evidence that allegedly indicates the two companies participated in a graphics card price fixing cartel.

In June 2007, at least 51 separate complaints were lumped together and amended into a single class action lawsuit against the GPU vendors in the US District Court of the Northern District of California.

The complaint was filed on behalf of everyone in the US who has bought a graphics card from either ATI or Nvidia from December 2002 to the present. It alleges the companies "conducted numerous secret meetings and communications in which they conspired to fix, raise, maintain and stabilize prices of GPUs sold in the United States."

During the class certification hearing in July, US district Judge William Alsup demanded to see evidence of a conspiracy. When presented with an alleged email exchange between Dan Vivoli of Nvidia and Dave Orton of ATI, he read aloud an enticing piece of the text:

I really think we should work harder together on the marketing front. As you and I have talked about, even though we are competitors, we have the common goal of making our category a well positioned, respected playing field. $5 and $8 stocks are a result of no respect.

"That's not good for defense," Alsup said after reading the email. "A jury would like to see this."

Alas, so would we. Fortunately, Tom's Hardware now says it has its mitts on the entire document. The story and email PDFs are here.

What's added is a bit more heft to the evidence that Alsup called "not a home run [but] a base hit" for the prosecution.

Here's an alleged Vivoli chestnut that may suggest collusion:

Both of us have spent the last three years trying to bring the perceived value of our products up to the level of Intel. The "GPU" category is clean and has served us well that way. We both have increased the price of our high end product several fold over the last 4 years while Intel’s high end prices have more than halved. Creating another category serves to work contradictory to that. How does one cleanly position it versus a GPU and a CPU?? It will tear down what we have both built.

A more detailed breakdown of the case, including charts illustrating pricing and release schedules before and after the alleged conspiracy period can be found in the complaint (PDF warning). ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.