The US Federal Trade Commission announced Wednesday morning the much-anticipated settlement of a lawsuit it brought against chip maker Intel last December. Rather than seeking money — something Intel has doled out to settle other lawsuits with rival AMD and the European Commission's antitrust authorities — the FTC sought …
The only settlement that could be considered Justice achieved was for Intel to be charged an amount equal to or greater than the financial benefits they received as a result of the anti competitive behavior. Cost and benefits in money terms is the only thing that markets respect.
It is not fair to intels customers and competitors that they do not give up the billions they made as a direct result of these policies.
If this is justice then I should be allowed to rob a bank and use the money to buy a house and other properties and then when found guilty of my acts should be allowed to keep all my ill gotten gains and made to promise not to do rob another bank in the future.
These settlements make no sense.
If your take on justice leans a little more towards the "revenge/punishment" side rather than the "reformation/rehabilitation" side, then yes...there was no justice served here.
If however you lean more towards the reformation/rehabilitation side...this was a stupendous victory. (With the gigantic caveat that the agreement actually be enforced.) This agreement basically means that Now Is The Time for the various competitors to pull their socks up and start putting some real pressure on Intel. There is even room for new competitors to enter the market.
This deal actually seems to encourage competition and remove the various barriers to entry. Never underestimate how huge that is; there are lots and lots of rich Chinese corporates just looking for a place to spend their oodles and oodles of cash. Think about it: Intel extracts so much money from the market that they functionally have a license to print money. They have just been handcuffed by the only government they actually have to listen to and the chip sales are on the rise again.
This agreement was not punishment nor revenge. What it did do was summon a doctor to take a sample of Intel’s blood, then tossed it into a tank full of sharks. Personally, I think it was well played. The government didn’t extract revenge personally, yet if they actually enforce this agreement retribution will be exacted nonetheless. Real enforcement of this agreement would lead to a ****ing entertaining next decade.
I can’t wait.
@Trevor_Pott: Your entire post reads either as the work of an Intel PR troll or someone so totally fooled by the legal ruling PR that they cannot see anything different. Either way it doesn't make much difference as you would say the same things.
So you think they are going to really achieve "reformation/rehabilitation"?
Also don't forget "Intel is not admitting to any violation of the law nor does it agree with the allegations contained in the complaint" ... so they don't even want to admit to doing any wrong. So that's hardly rehabilitation?
So no really, seriously, you actually believe "reformation/rehabilitation"? ... just because this ruling lists what Intel now cannot do, that still leaves it wide open for Intel to think up more and new ways to block the competition because that is what this really shows about Intel which is their relentless need to find ways to control and manipulate the competition to their advantage and that will not change. All that will change is now Intel have a few legal landmines to avoid, so don't step on these new rules and they are free to find other ways to continue their relentless pursuit of ways to control and manipulate the competition, because that is what they show they desire. They have a relentless need to find ways to control and manipulate the competition. (I'm sure they will pretend to play nice at first, but I give it a year at best before their old ways surfaces again ... because its the way most big corporations think. Its not unique to Intel, its a pattern of needing control that is found in many big corporations and its often why they grow so big).
@"Now Is The Time for the various competitors to pull their socks up and start putting some real pressure on Intel. There is even room for new competitors to enter the market."
“Pull their socks up”, WTF?! … Wow you really live in an idealistic world. Shame the real world doesn't work like that. For a start how the hell is any start-up going to replicate let alone compete with Intel's bloatware x86 design? ... It would take years and billions to even come close. Then we have Intel's need to keep changing their x86 design with ever more updates thereby forcing competitors to endlessly play catch up to Intel's ever more bloated design. Which is wonderful for Intel as it then allows them to claim they are the market leading innovators which big businesses (run by non-technical people) are fooled by and so say we need only Intel computers and so Intel maintains a market leading advantage this way (when all they are really doing is adding yet more bloat to their already jaw droopingly badly bloated processor design). Then of course how many non-technical people at work have Intel computers on their desks and so believe they also need only Intel at home as well. And so the (Intel + Microsoft) symbiotic business relationship continues to steam roller over all who want to compete. Leaving competitors to earn a living from niches in the market.
Oracle missed big chance
"This agreement basically means that Now Is The Time for the various competitors to pull their socks up and start putting some real pressure on Intel."
Oracle killed Sun x86 Montalvo chip.
They could jump in, it was low power chip for blade servers. Perfect to power clouds or even to go in netbooks and mobile devices.
It would take years and billions...
"For a start how the hell is any start-up going to replicate let alone compete with Intel's bloatware x86 design? ... It would take years and billions to even come close."
replace "Intel's bloatware x86" with "IBM", "Microsoft", "Nokia", american car companies, etc. You see? It happens all the time.
80% of my servers run AMD. 90% of my desktops run VIA. The rest of the CPUs are Intel.
Intel PR Troll? Not in the least. Ridiculously pragmatic individual that doesn't trust /any/ corporation? Very much so!
I also think that a few billion dollars is significantly less money than you think it is. There are many corporations (and indeed individuals) for whom that's "walking around money." There's muchos big time dineros to be made in the chip business; worth the investment by someone who knows what they are doing. Personally, I expect to see at least one new entrant within the next 5 years, and 10 years from now Intel to have lost 10% market share to strengthened competition and this new entrant.
Maybe it won’t work out that way, but it’s how I currently believe it will play out. It’s also how I personally hope it will play out. Intel needs to learn a lesson or five, and with luck it would trickle down to the rest of the arrogant IT Megacorps.
Namely: quit screwing everyone just because your company is huge, and actually innovate. Innovation is why your company became huge in the first place you ****ing twits.
I read my post as “someone who figured the corrupt yanks would just let the bastards get away with it whilst flipping the bird to the entire world. Instead they seem to have established a punishment that hamstrings Intel’s most egregious behaviours (and honestly narrows the potential for future ones.) They also did it in a way that is consistent with the (fallacious) American philosophy that capitalism = good.” I don’t personally think they went far enough, and I credit the EU (and other countries) for smacking Intel in the gut with big fines for forcing the Americans’ hand in this matter. I have a long list of other companies with similar terrible practices I’d like to see spanked. (Let’s start with Sony and Adobe…) My post also recognises that this punishment is entirely contingent on this agreement actually being enforced; something I am cynical enough to believe probably won’t happen.
Obviously you wanted some form of revenge for past wrongs. Personally, I’d far rather they work on ways to change the corporate behaviour. Barring that, forcibly suppressing the negative corporate behaviour long enough for competitors with actual innovation and a drive to meet customer requirements to cut Intel to bloody ribbons is equally as good.
But hey, you can read into my post as “you’re an Intel shill” if you want.
Precisely. That, and a few Billion dollars isn't exactly hard to find these days...
This sounds like a level-headed agreement that will actually foster competitive behaviour. Exactly how did an American government agency and an American megacorp manage to arrive at an agreement that A) does what is says on the tin and B) actually seems to be of benefit to consumers?
Who are these people and what have they done with our greedy, corrupt and inept overlords?
Crime does pay
Intel generates hundreds of millions from violation of anti-trust laws and pays a $10 million fine. This seems like pretty good business practices if you're looking to profit from crime.
Well a lockdown combined with...
The fact AMD are going after them pretty much worldwide, Intel are in for a (well deserved) kicking.
MS does the same, what happens?
"In its complaint, the FTC alleged that Intel refused to sell processors to companies selling competitive products or tried to keep them to a certain market share for competitors' products."
And what happens when Microsoft is doing the same?
Nothing. MS has almost patented of their way of charging the OEM for every machine they sell, no matter if there's MS OS installed or not. Or no sales to OEM at all. Very handy when you want to keep your monopoly.
And your proof?
Stump it up and I don't mean wild internet forum crap.
Unless of course you mean the MS-DOS bundling from the very early 1990's which, ironically, was dealt with in much the same manner as the Intel one.
Now theres a pair to draw too
I can't figure out which I trust the least.
@thwarting competitor designs...
@"Intel also engaged in predatory design practices, which didn't improve the performance of its chips but did thwart the ability of competitors to integrate with Intel's chips."
That's another big one as Intel's bloatware processor design is getting insane. Intel are clearly blocking NVidia chipsets and I'm sure some of the Intel bloat is also to make life harder for companies like AMD & VIA Technologies who must have major problems keeping up with Intel's ever more bloated design. Problem is we also suffer as we end up with processors that are too hot, too expensive and performance is stalling as Intel's bloated design can't be easily replicated into multicore processor designs as that means making multiple times the bloat on the chip. Then of course we have all the extra unnecessarily wasted power per PC which when multiplied by so many millions of PC worldwide (often many left on all day) we end up with a lot of extra wasted power worldwide everyday. (Even if each PC only wasted just 1 watt, if we have say 100 million PCs that's still 100MW wasted, so imagine how much worldwide is really being wasted by Intel's bloated PC design!).
Problem is its hard to avoid as even an AMD processor has to replicate all the Intel bloat.
I wish some processor design would just come along and totally wipe out the Intel design once and for all, as that's one design that badly needs to be consigned to the history books. But then Intel also have Microsoft in some kind of symbiotic business relationship which helps both of them to continue to steam roller over all who want to compete. :(
It's called the x86 platform. AMD had played a big part in the popularity of x86, even creating x86-64 (AMD64), which Intel adopted. Intel too tried to ditch x86 with the failed (albeit elegant) Itanium architecture.
If you really want to blame someone, it's the application owners who are insisting on backward compatibility (greedy bastards).
As for alternative architectures, Power is looking interesting, but without any critical mass to create competitive consumer CPUs. Again, don't blame Intel for their success, or for having been forced to continue with x86.
What annoys me...
What annoys me is that what they were doing was illegal and they knew it was illegal - And yet not only do they get off with some flimsy promises they can break tomorrow, the don't even have to admit wrongdoing - compare that with some guy who pickpockets £50 or similar - The punishment in no way reflects the crime
What about Microsoft
"In its complaint, the FTC alleged that Intel refused to sell processors to companies selling competitive products or tried to keep them to a certain market share for competitors' products.
Leibowitz said in the press conference that Intel also engaged in predatory design practices, which didn't improve the performance of its chips but did thwart the ability of competitors to integrate with Intel's chips. The settled lawsuit also alleged that Intel's CPU compilers were designed expressly to make AMD's chips perform badly."
Microsoft behaves in exactly the same manner *despite* already being convicted of abusing their monopoly position.
Where is the FTC's case against them?