On today's episode, we invent a new word that we hope will show up on a show like "The Hills" sometime soon. Plus, we get fired up, make terrible jokes about monkeys controlling computers with their brains, and actually work in a tiny bit of news. For example, Apple's doing a tablet and music labels are trying to sell some new weird digital album thing. You might like the "fired up" part better.Subscribe now: iTunes (audio) | iTunes (video) | RSS (audio) | RSS (video) EPISODE 1027
Intel is appealing an antitrust fine levied against it by the European Commission in May.
The chipmaker lodged its appeal Wednesday in the European Court of First Instance against the 1.06 billion euros ($1.5 billion) fine--although the company has yet reveal the precise legal basis for the appeal.
"We felt the EC decision was incorrect, and that evidence was ignored or misinterpreted," an Intel representative told ZDNet UK on Thursday. "We believe the Commission ignored the realities of the microprocessor market, which is highly competitive."
However, the Commission said Thursday that it had … Read more
European Commission officials will meet with copyright holders on September 7 to discuss the search giant's $125 million proposed settlement with U.S. publishers and authors granting Google the right to digitize and publish books that are out of print but still protected by copyright law. The court overseeing the settlement has given authors a September 4 deadline to opt out individually if they don't not wish to participate. Google has … Read more
The world of open-source development could be divided, if the European Commission succeeds in passing a law extending consumer protection rules to software, according to experts.
The Commission proposes that software companies be held liable in the European Union for the security and efficacy of their products.
David Mitchell, senior vice president of IT Research at Ovum, thinks that this may lead to a situation boosting current open-source vendors' business models but making it more difficult for independent developers to thrive.
The proposal is likely to make vendors force customers into support and maintenance agreements upon each purchase, in order … Read more
The Intel-Advanced Micro Devices rivalry spans decades. But in a phone interview last week, the top lawyer at AMD discussed critical moments when the competition with Intel got particularly nasty.
Tom McCoy, AMD's senior vice president of legal affairs, cited two critical junctures in the Intel-AMD rivalry when Intel turned up the heat and, he claims, violated the law.
McCoy said the first major assault from Intel came in 1999, when AMD launched the Athlon architecture. "When we go back and we look at all the anecdotal incidents of Intel violating the law, they always center on when … Read more
An Advanced Micro Devices executive claims that Intel and Apple cut a deal in 2005 that made Intel an exclusive supplier of processors to Apple, preventing AMD from gaining Apple business.
The claim, made in a phone interview with Tom McCoy, AMD's senior vice president of legal affairs, earlier this week, holds that Intel has had a longstanding deal to be Apple's sole supplier of microprocessors. To date, Apple has not used an AMD central processing unit (CPU) in any of its products. Currently, only Intel CPUs populate Apple's laptop, desktop, and server lineups.
This assertion by AMD comes in the wake of the EU decision last week to fine Intel $1.45 billion for violating antitrust legislation. Last week's EU decision centered on whether Intel used illegal tactics to deny processor business to AMD at PC makers.
McCoy said that a deal was struck when Apple moved from the PowerPC (IBM-Motorola) chip architecture to the x86 (Intel-AMD) architecture. The transition was announced by Steve Jobs at the Worldwide Developers Conference in 2005.
"They made a deal when they were porting over from PowerPC to x86 as to how much Intel was willing to pay for that port. My guess is that Intel asked for and won exclusivity in return for the help that they gave Apple to port," McCoy said.
McCoy continued: "That deal will not be exclusive forever and when that exclusivity is over, I'm sure they (Apple) will choose on the merits. We'll have a chance to compete for Apple's business when Apple is ready," he said. Intel denies this allegation.
Though McCoy did not make any direct charge of illegal activity regarding such a deal, the assertion is not that far removed from charges made in the July 2005 AMD complaint against Intel. AMD, in that filing, cited Dell, among other examples of exclusive Intel deals with PC makers. "In its history, Dell has not purchased a single AMD x86 microprocessor despite acknowledging Intel shortcomings and customer clamor for AMD solutions, principally in the server sector...Dell has been and remains Intel-exclusive. According to industry reports, Intel has bought Dell's exclusivity with outright payments and favorable discriminatory pricing and service." (Note: Dell, in 2005, offered no AMD-based products, though it does today.)
Whether the deal is exclusive doesn't in itself constitute a legal argument, according to Joshua D. Wright of the George Mason University School of Law, who has written about the EU decision in a blog, "Truth on the Market." "Under Section 2 of the Sherman Act, a plaintiff must show that the exclusive dealing arrangement harmed competition in the form of higher prices, lower output, or reduced innovation," Wright said, responding to an e-mail query. … Read more
Following the European Union's decision to fine Intel for "illegal" business practices, Nvidia is crying foul too, according to a report.
Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said Intel's chip pricing is unfair but added that the graphics chipmaker will not seek antitrust action against Intel, according to a Reuter's report.
This is a beef that Nvidia has had with Intel ever since Nvidia's Ion graphics chipset debuted last year. The competitive backdrop is Intel's longstanding vision of a CPU-centric universe versus Nvidia's creed that graphics processing matters more and more in a multimedia-intensive … Read more
Updated at 12:45 p.m. PDT: adding AMD statement.
The question of whether Intel engages in abusive market behavior has been answered by the European Commission. Or has it?
To recap, the EC said:
"Intel limited consumer choice and stifled innovation by preventing innovative products for which there was a consumer demand from reaching end customers."
And: "Intel gave wholly or partially hidden rebates to computer manufacturers on condition that they bought all, or almost all, their x86 central processing units (CPUs) from Intel. Intel also made direct payments to a major retailer on condition it … Read more
Advanced Micro Devices is flying the European Union flag on its home page. A little gloating going on?
And if the image doesn't convey the message, the caption does: "European Commission finds Intel guilty of breaking antitrust laws, harming consumers."
That's not all. AMD's Break Free page is a treasure trove of information on the EU case and Intel's alleged bad behavior. "Read the European Commission's Press Release Detailing its Ruling Against Intel" and "Read the European Commission's Questions and Answers Detailing its Ruling Against Intel"--are a … Read more