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AMD: 'The dog didn't eat Otellini's homework'

Moore's Red Herring

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AMD finds it amusing that on a day when the EU dropped a record €1.06 billion fine on Intel, Intel is still calling the shots.

"Obviously, we've done more than a few interviews today, and most of the interviews that we've done have involved us responding to what [Intel CEO] Paul Otellini had to say," AMD spokesman John Taylor tells The Reg. "So, a nine-year investigation and the European Commission releases it conclusions after looking at a mountain of compelling evidence, and every question we're being asking are those Paul Otellini would have us be asked. We're having some fun with that."

But AMD's willing to answer those questions nonetheless.

Otellini argues that whatever the EU says, consumers have in no way been harmed by Intel. "It's hard to imagine how consumers were harmed in an industry which has lowered the cost of computing by a factor of 100 during the term of this case," he told reporters this morning via conference call.

But AMD wonders if prices could have dropped even further. "The thing to focus on is where prices and innovation could have been if there had been a free and open market," AMD's VP of platform marketing Pat Moorhead says. "Nobody says there's a limit to the amount of innovation out there or a limit to the amount that market prices can fall...

"Our prices are about 30 to 50 per cent lower than Intel on a processor-by-processor basis. Who's to say if there were free markets that Intel's prices wouldn't be lower?"

Moorhead calls Otellini's comments "expected behavior from a three-time convicted monopolist," referring not only to the EU's decision but also to previous anti-competitive rulings in Japan and Korea.

Asked about the mystery documents that supposedly absolve Intel of any wrongdoing, Moorhead accused Otellini of resorting to the-dog-ate-my-homework tactics. "This was a nine year investigation," Moorhead says. "After nine years, it's hard to claim that the dog ate your homework."

In a blog post, AMD's Nigel Dessau claims that behind closed doors, Intel was whispering that if the EU cracked down on its business practices, prices would go up. Otellini steered clear of such suggestions this morning, saying "prices will continue to go down. Quality goes up. Performance goes up. There's nothing in this ruling that reverses Moore's Law." But as AMD sees it, Moore's Law is a red herring.

"If it's truly a competitive market, Intel's prices come down. That's the most likely scenario," Moorhead says. ®

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