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Old Aug 4, 2010, 10:22 AM   #1
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caveman-jim
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Intel No Money For AMD, NVIDIA as Intel (Tentatively) Settles with US FTC

Intel yesterday announced a tentative settlement that admits no wrong-doing, or payments, but ends the litigation with the US FTC.

Intel and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have reached a tentative settlement in the antitrust suit filed by the Commission December 16. The FTC sued Intel alleging Intel had violated Section 5 of the FTC Act. The settlement agreement expressly states that Intel does not admit either any violation of law or that the facts alleged in the complaint are true. The agreement approved today by the Commission is subject to a 30 day public comment period and final approval by the Commission.

"This agreement provides a framework that will allow us to continue to compete and to provide our customers the best possible products at the best prices," said Doug Melamed, Intel senior vice president and general counsel. "The settlement enables us to put an end to the expense and distraction of the FTC litigation."


The agreement states that Intel will not pay rebates or incentives, even if the customer (OEM, Distributor etc.) buys products from their competitors. The price breaks will apply only to specific units and not to all units; if an Intel customer wants to buy 10,000 trays of Core i7 930, they don't get a discount on the 100 trays of Core i7 980X they bought as well, like they did before.

Interesting, Intel can still claim exclusivity with a customer - i.e., they may not buy AMD, VIA or Intel products - if Intel has provided "exceptional assistance" to that customer. The length of exclusivity shall not exceed the normal length of time for the customer to achieve a return on investment, and is restricted to new business in a channel, segment, or product.

Intel must also disclose where the Intel Compiler is not optimizing for non-Intel processors, both publicly and in future presentations. Furthermore, in the next 90 days, Intel will, via the Compiler Reimbursement Fund, pay up to $10m to any customers who used the Intel Compiler and subsequently used another compiler due to their use of non-Intel processors.

A commission and technical consultant team will observe and report on the operation of Intel's business, and advise on required changes.

Read the full FTC/Intel settlement agreement here (pdf).


Source - Intel

Last edited by Android1 : Aug 4, 2010 at 10:47 AM.
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Old Aug 4, 2010, 10:48 AM   #2
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More details:

Quote:
FTC chairman, Jon Leibowitz, criticized Intel in a call this morning for engaging in unfair and anti-competitive tactics, including configuring its compiler software so that AMD’s microprocessors appeared to run slower than they really did.

“Intel made it look as if that slowdown was AMD’s fault,” Leibowitz said.

Rumors of a settlement surfaced weeks ago, but the negotiations were complicated. The FTC settlement averts a trial that was scheduled for September. FTC officials say their settlement goes significantly farther than previous antitrust settlements. For instance, it clarifies the rights of Intel’s competitors to make their chips in the factories of contract manufacturers so they can keep up with Intel’s manufacturing might. On top of that, it clarifies that competitors such as Via have the right to make microprocessors that are compatible with Intel chips; Via will have a license for at least five years beyond its current agreement, which expires in 2013, to make Intel-compatible chips. And it gives competitors more freedom to merge with other companies without losing their rights to make Intel-compatible chips.

In a statement, Nvidia said, “Nvidia supports the FTC’s action to address Intel’s continuing global anticompetitive conduct. Any steps that lead a more competitive environment for our industry are good for the consumer. We look forward to Intel’s actions being examined further by the Delaware courts later this year, when our lawsuit against the company is heard.”

AMD said, “The FTC has acted firmly in the interest of American consumers to safeguard the competitive process in the critically important microprocessor and graphics markets. In our settlement with Intel, AMD’s critical remaining concern was Intel’s use of all-or-nothing discounts to deny competitors’ access to the marketplace. The FTC’s order clearly and firmly prohibits such abuse and guarantees ongoing monitoring of Intel’s conduct. A level playing field is AMD’s goal, and we are confident that our world-class computing and graphics processors will deliver great value and benefit to consumers in a fair and open marketplace.”
http://games.venturebeat.com/2010/08...nt-with-intel/
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Old Aug 4, 2010, 11:21 AM   #3
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All of Intel's nonsense over the years is what made me Pro-AMD. I also thought that Intel charged way too much for their products. The Intel Compiler shenanigans always made me cringe. Back in the late PIII and into the P4 days, they needed to cheat to show that their processors were "better". Now, it's just beyond pathetic.

Working for Dell was difficult since I did not own any Intel products. When the P4 launched, it was really hard to not say "Don't you read?" to customers who bought a shiny new Dell with a slow 1.3-1.4GHz P4 and were complaining about how this new, super-expensive machine was a lot lower performing than their 2-3 year old PIII box. Oh yeah, RAMBUS!

And, coupled with the years I spent working at Intel's various campuses here in Oregon really turned me off of the way they conduct business. It is such an unhealthy, unfriendly environment. I ran screaming from the halls of their oppressive culture.

I doubt this ruling will change much, if anything, concerning their business dealings. Makes me mad to think about it...
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Old Aug 4, 2010, 02:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Zhivago View Post
I doubt this ruling will change much, if anything, concerning their business dealings. Makes me mad to think about it...
Take a read of the agreement. It's seriously hardcore. The FTC will have onsite overseers that Intel have to ask permission to piss from.

Happy Days are here again...
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Old Aug 4, 2010, 02:20 PM   #5
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So AMD won't see a penny of the compensation they were supposed to be recieving?
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Old Aug 4, 2010, 03:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by {0}Salamander{0} View Post
So AMD won't see a penny of the compensation they were supposed to be recieving?
Completely different settlement.
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Old Aug 5, 2010, 07:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caveman-jim View Post
Take a read of the agreement. It's seriously hardcore. The FTC will have onsite overseers that Intel have to ask permission to piss from.

Happy Days are here again...
I will reserve enthusiasm until results are seen.
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Old Aug 5, 2010, 08:00 AM   #8
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Old Aug 5, 2010, 09:42 AM   #9
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I have a hard time taking that guy seriously. He needs to tone down the snarkiness.
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Old Aug 6, 2010, 08:44 AM   #10
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So Intel was forcing vendors not to use AMD products under threat of not delivering Intel products to the vendors, and the FTC is only going to regulate what Intel does going forward? Hmmmm, the damage that Intel did to AMD during the one period where AMD had a clear advantage can't really be counted, so Intel should have had to pay $25 billion as a FINE for what they did, even if AMD doesn't get the money. Intel is basically getting away with YEARS of illegal activity since AMD has almost no chance to catch up in terms of processor performance at this point.

This reminds me of what happened during the Microsoft vs. Netscape battles, where even when Microsoft was found to be in the wrong, since Netscape was already DEAD, it didn't really affect Microsoft in the slightest.

The executives at Intel during that time should be locked up on racketeering charges. Instead, nothing bad will happen to Intel.
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Old Aug 6, 2010, 09:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Targon View Post
So Intel was forcing vendors not to use AMD products under threat of not delivering Intel products to the vendors, and the FTC is only going to regulate what Intel does going forward? Hmmmm, the damage that Intel did to AMD during the one period where AMD had a clear advantage can't really be counted, so Intel should have had to pay $25 billion as a FINE for what they did, even if AMD doesn't get the money. Intel is basically getting away with YEARS of illegal activity since AMD has almost no chance to catch up in terms of processor performance at this point.

This reminds me of what happened during the Microsoft vs. Netscape battles, where even when Microsoft was found to be in the wrong, since Netscape was already DEAD, it didn't really affect Microsoft in the slightest.

The executives at Intel during that time should be locked up on racketeering charges. Instead, nothing bad will happen to Intel.
Yes, hence the term 'settlement' and 'no admission of wrong doing'.

As far as the settlement goes, there are some major things in there that level the playing field for AMD, VIA and NVIDIA.
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Old Aug 6, 2010, 09:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Zhivago View Post
I have a hard time taking that guy seriously. He needs to tone down the snarkiness.
Yeah, true. There's some good info in there too though. Did you read Anandtech's write up the settlement as well?
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Old Aug 6, 2010, 03:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caveman-jim View Post
Yeah, true. There's some good info in there too though. Did you read Anandtech's write up the settlement as well?
Not yet.
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Old Aug 7, 2010, 08:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caveman-jim View Post
Yes, hence the term 'settlement' and 'no admission of wrong doing'.

As far as the settlement goes, there are some major things in there that level the playing field for AMD, VIA and NVIDIA.
And this is where the settlement should never be allowed. No penalties for Intel in any way, and making Intel play fair going forward does nothing to punish them for what they had been doing. So, why should this settlement be seen as acceptable to ANYONE?

I can see others doing something similar after this, just lie, cheat, and steal, but when you are caught just offer to not do those things anymore and it's all fine with no real penalties or fines. Those who make billions per year see 10 million as pocket change, so any penalties should be 10 times the annual profits to make for an effective penalty to keep others from doing the same thing.
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Old Aug 7, 2010, 08:48 AM   #15
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Because the details of the settlement level the playing field and give the FTC and complainants what they want. AMD already settled and withdrew their complaints, this goes further and addresses more problems. The FTC is smart to settle and get the sanctions they got, without dragging it out for longer still.
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