Experts say Intel has been instrumental in driving down PC prices, one of the key indicators of competition and one charge New York's Attorney General cannot easily level against Intel in its antitrust lawsuit.
New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday filed a federal lawsuit against Intel accusing it of paying computer makers rebates to illegally maintain its monopoly power and preventing AMD from gaining business with PC makers.
One of the operative charges in the complaint centers on prices. "Intel launched an illegal campaign to deprive AMD of distribution channels and consumers of product choice and lower prices," the complaint alleges.
Not so fast, say some experts. "Prices are falling, buyers are not complaining about Intel's loyalty discounts, and the lower prices produce obvious and immediate benefit for consumers," said Joshua D. Wright, professor at George Mason University School of Law, and a scholar in residence at the Federal Trade Commission until 2008.
"Given the intuitive and easy to grasp nature of the consumer benefits of discounting contracts in the Intel case, I suspect that judges will be less likely to condemn these practices without real proof of actual consumer harm. I'm skeptical that AMD, (New York), or the (Federal Trade Commission) will be able to produce that here," Wright said.
And prices continue to fall. One of the most recent examples of steep downward PC price pressure is… Read more