More drama in the hardware side.Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices has sued Intel in a broad-ranging 48-page complaint accusing its rival of using illegal scare tactics and coercion to keep computer manufacturers from using AMD processors. AMD cited 38 companies in its lawsuit that it claims were bullied by market leader Intel.
AMD's case follows an antitrust ruling in Japan where Intel was found to have coerced one OEM into agreeing to purchase all of its CPUs from Intel, while another was mandated with an Intel-imposed quota of 10 percent non-Intel purchases.
A key issue in the AMD case could be the rebates Intel offers computer makers who agree to use its chips exclusively. Such marketing subsidies have become commonplace in the technology industry, but AMD says the practice is illegal for monopolists like Intel.
In order to make its case, AMD plans to seek subpoenas to obtain private e-mails between its customers and Intel. AMD will also ask customers to testify on its behalf.
AMD has also setup a special Web site devoted to what it calls "Fair and Open Competition" where company CEO Hector Ruiz details the reasons behind AMD's lawsuit.
"Intel's behavior is much more than meets the eye," Ruiz wrote. "You may not have been aware, but Intel's illegal actions hurt consumers - everyday. Computer buyers pay higher prices inflated by Intel's monopoly profits. Less innovation is produced because less competition exists. Purchasers lose their fundamental right to choose the best technology available."
The case could go to trial as soon as the end of 2006.
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