New York Slaps Intel With Antitrust Suit
“After Gateway’s 2004 merger with eMachines, AMD attempted to revive the relationship it had enjoyed with Gateway until 2001, but experienced extremely limited success. While Gateway built one AMD-powered desktop model at the request of Circuit City, AMD remains locked out entirely of Gateway’s direct internet sales, its commercial offerings and its server line. According to Gateway executives, their Company has paid a high price for even its limited AMD dealings. They claim that Intel has beaten them into ‘guacamole’ in retaliation.”
Looks like it’s going to be a very busy fall for Intel legal. This morning, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against the company, alleging that it violated state and federal laws with a “systematic campaign” of illegal conduct to maintain its monopoly.
At issue here, once again, is Intel’s alleged practice of using bribery and coercion to maintain its monopoly, something rival AMD complained about in its own antitrust suit against Intel (INTC) in 2005.
AMD (AMD) alleged, for example, that in 2000, Michael Capellas, then chief executive of Compaq Computer, told AMD that because of Compaq’s relationship with AMD, Intel withheld the delivery of some microprocessors he needed for servers. Capellas told AMD he would stop buying from it, saying he “had a gun to his head.”
Further, in 2004, Gateway officials are alleged to have told AMD that Intel “beat them into guacamole” in retaliation for their limited dealings with its rival. These are but two incidents in a list that includes similar alleged acts of coercion by Intel involving 38 other computer makers, distributors and retailers.
Apparently, Cuomo has found evidence of similar behavior. “Rather than compete fairly, Intel used bribery and coercion to maintain a stranglehold on the market,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Intel’s actions not only unfairly restricted potential competitors, but also hurt average consumers who were robbed of better products and lower prices.”