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 …
So when do I get my check for $3.28?
All they have to do is look at prices while 3DFX was in business, then shortly after they went bang...
If I remember correctly, the pricing on the other makes went from reasonable to what seemed like almost telephone number-sized figures over a fairly short time...
But overall, video cards have been dirt cheap
To be fair, the margins on GPUs are a pittance compared to CPUs. For all their machinations, it's still been an incredibly competitive industry. Much more so than what goes on in the Intel monopoly land, AMD not withstanding. I'd say give these guys a break and deal with the real problem.
You mean to tell me that paying 20x the price of a Multicored Processor for a single-core gpu was based on the whim of greedy graphics manufacturers and _not_ due to the shiny boxes?
I call Bull
Min'e the one with the conspiracy-guidebook in the pocket
1 Player Away From Monopoly
Figures, only two players in the market makes it sooo much easier to collude.
Look at the memory price fixing players that busted a year+ ago, with all those manu's now that was a feat to pull off.
I love it when people say "capitalism" and the "free market" are alive and well, when in fact, globalization, mergers & takeovers create more oligopolies that dictate their market prices.
I'm looking at you Big Oil!
Re: Remember 3DFX
What, when I had to pay £250 for my matrox millenium 2D video card and £150 for my 3DFx voodoo graphics accelerator?
I can go back even farther, anyone remember how expensive a Hercules Graphics Station card was?
UK & @ Andrew Tyler
With prices nearly double here in the UK, can we get double that cheque with £6.56?
Compare my above purchases to my latest. Geforce 8800 GT 512MB for less than £120 delivered. Forgot to mention the matrox and 3DFx cards in my first post had 4MB memory each.
Theres some truth in this....
Remember when the top end single GPU card cost £400-£500?
Suddenly we have 4850's for £130!
To be honest, I actually think we have AMD to thank for this. Blame it on AMD's lack of success with getting the R600 to perform as well as it should have if you will, but the launch of their highest end card at less than £300 forced Nvidia to drop prices. They've only being going down from there, until we have ATI's top performing single GPU solution selling for £180, a far cry from the £400 it would normally have cost (back in the old days). Which, of course, forced Nvidia to drop prices, something even Nvidia fans should be grateful for.
I wouldnt be surprised if the truth is something along the lines of ATI and Nvidia had an agreement to keep the high end cost a lot. ATI couldnt compete with a fixed price because their cards didnt really perform as well, so although the agreement got them much bigger margins, it was hurting their competitiveness. So they broke the agreement, dropped prices, and started competing on their own terms.
Those low prices aren't the result of competition, or big companies being kind to us.
Its because the Xbox and PS3 are taking all the gamers, paying more for a card than a brand new next-gen console now looks insane.
Plus the fact that the PC gaming market is fucked, few big releases (save Spore, SIMS and WoW expansions which don't need big cards anyway), and the Crysis fiasco made a lot of people look at the wisdom of buying £200+ cards just to play a game.
Give it a couple of years, when the new consoles start to look old, and things will pick up again.
Not exactly price fixing...
Or at least not on the basis of that last paragraph. It sounds more like they agreed to co-operate on best marketing terms for their sector. Something more ethically weird. But I guess marketing is inherently evil anyway...
A penguin, because we have the new Open Source friendly AMD to thank for breaking this collusion, by the looks of things.
Why would ATI and Nvidia Collude?
ATI cards are shit if you want a good game card its always pick NVIDIA.
Looking angryily at the two ATI's I purchased and then binned because they were rubbish. They do come in nice boxes though.
Oh just thought of a good use for an ATI card. Its just the right size to stop my desk for rocking. I take it all back it was £100 well spent
Paris because my ATI card wouldn't even play her video without stuttering...or maybe that was me
sounds more like marketing cooperation to promote nVidia and ATI video cards status
Hi, I don't see antitrust here but it would have been if the just remained competitors. After all Intel and AMD have cross licensing agreements, they share technology, they need each other, thats why almost the same sockets, cpu design, etc.
News Article Left Out Crucial Detail (if same suit)
From what I recall, this suit is a class action only for those who bought the cards directly from ATI or nVidia's website, not the overly vague onto the point of potentially being misunderstood phrase "everyone in the US who has bought a graphics card from either ATI or Nvidia from December 2002 to the present".
If the card was bought anywhere else you aren't a member of the class, which is unfortunate as I lost track of how many dozens of cards I and others had bought elsewhere during this period.
Some video cards have certainly been at good price points but others were ridiculous. It's just plain excessive when a card costs over $250 for example, even if gold plated and wearing baby seal slippers.
All I want to know is...
...why there are only two major 3D graphics card makers. A lack of competition is the scariest part of all this IMO.
Where's the beef?
I skimmed all those screen shots. I see a lot of slides jawing about marketing teams agreeing on the term "GPU" to mutually help each other vs. monopolist Intel, and I see some talk about marketing guys not being too "harsh" on each others products.
This is hardly price fixing.
There is one chart showing prices during the alleged conspiracy period, but I frankly don't trust it; there are so many ways to spin that pricing data of competitive products by picking which two products you compare. Perhaps there's a story there but it needs a lot firmer evidence than that!
BTW, I believe Dave Orton and Dan Vivoli both were at SGI at the same period, pre-PC-graphics. Not that that's evidence pro or anti-conspiracy, but indicates a trust relationship they have likely precedes talks between themselves at their currently-competitive employers.