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Former AMD kingpin gives Intel hell

Derides 'monopolist defense'

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AMD's former CEO Hector Ruiz has released a commentary that picks apart Intel's defense against the European Commission's €1.06bn fine for anticompetitve practices.

Ruiz's scathing rebuke, published by MarketWatch, excoriates Chipzilla's efforts to wriggle out of responsibility for the actions that led to the fine - especially in light of the incriminating evidence recently released by the European Competition Commission.

In his commentary, entitled "Intel and the blame game: Time to take responsibility in chip-industry antitrust case," Ruiz writes: "Intel has apparently embraced the advice dispensed by the playwright Oscar Wilde: 'It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you place the blame.'"

Ruiz's argument takes several tacks, chiding Intel for its charges of Commission bias, scolding the company for suppressing evidence, reproving them for disparaging critics - "a typical monopolist defense" according to Ruiz - and saying that Intel's blaming of AMD for its European sales problems "really does twist reality into a pretzel."

Not that Ruiz is without bias. After assuming the positions of president and COO of AMD in 2000, he became CEO in 2002 and headed the company until he stepped aside in 2008.

And he has called Intel to task before, as evidenced by his statement in 2007 when the EU began its investigation of Intel that "This is not an isolated instance," citing similar investigations in Japan and Korea.

Still, Ruiz holds out an olive branch at the end of Wednesday's dressing-down of his former competitor: "Intel has been a global innovation leader in the past," he concedes. "It can be a global innovation leader in the future - but not until Intel's leadership recognizes a simple truth."

That simple truth, from Ruiz's point of view, is that Intel should take responsibility for its actions, and move on.

"The sooner Intel accepts a level of responsibility befitting a company of its scope, legacy and stature," Ruiz writes, "and takes responsibility for its own errors, the sooner that the full benefits of competition will flow, not just to the industry, and not even just to computer manufacturers, but to computer users the world around."

If Intel is playing the blame game, Ruiz is playing the shame game. ®

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