AS INTEL FLUSHES red with shame (or wronged outrage, depending on one's point of view) and holds a series of nearly back-to-back press conferences denying its guilt, it comes as little surprise that AMD has been bouncing off the walls with glee all morning, after the EU commission found Chipzilla guilty of antitrust behaviour.
"Today's ruling is an important step toward establishing a truly competitive market," said Dirk Meyer, AMD's president and CEO. "We are looking forward to the move from a world in which Intel ruled, to one which is ruled by customers," he added.
Tom McCoy, AMD's executive vice president for legal affairs said, "Intel broke the law and consumers were hurt," adding that, "with this ruling, the industry will benefit from an end to Intel's monopoly-inflated pricing and European consumers will enjoy greater choice, value and innovation."
On the Twitter scene, AMDers - from Nigel Dessau to senior veeps, lesser veeps and run of the mill employees - had a field day, sending out tweets like: "Intel 0-3 in antitrust: Japan ('05), Korea ('08), EU ('09). US FTC and NY state are investigating" and "If you can afford to pay the speeding ticket, is it OK to speed whenever you like?"
It does seem that spIntel, even with its army of lawyers and PR experts has thus far failed to convince any antitrust enforcement agency its business practices are beyond reproach.
The company was fined about $25.4 million by the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) back in 2008 on grounds the firm abused its dominant position by coercing and cajoling customers with cash on the condition they use only Intel chips. Like the EU, the KFTC also found Intel guilty of giving cash incentives to customers agreeing to delay the launches of AMD products or not develop products using AMD chips.
The KFTC also found, "South Korean consumers had to buy PCs at higher prices as domestic PC makers were forced to buy Intel's pricier CPU." Intel, naturally, is in the process of appealing that ruling.
KFTC aside, however, Intel was also given a slap on the wrist by Japan back in 2005, when that country's Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) ruled Intel had violated anti-monopoly laws by illegally forcing five Japanese PC makers to accept full or partial exclusivity. Intel did not appeal that ruling.
Jumping on the AMD gleeful vindication bandwagon, Global Foundries - littler chipper's fab spin off - has issued a statement saying, "today is an important day for our industry and technology consumers worldwide."
Then, rather randomly, the statement went on to claim "The EU ruling not only supports a competitive marketplace but also helps make the construction of our new facility in New York and the creation of new advanced manufacturing jobs in the region a reality."
We sort of fail to see how the EU verdict has any effect whatsoever on Global Foundries building a chip fab in upstate New York, since AMD made that decision some years ago, but we'll put it down to the giddy excitement reverberating throughout the non Intel-inside world. µ