In case you were wondering if Intel’s business practices were as shady as the European Commission and the NY Attorney General think they are, look no further than this: Intel is paying $US1.25 billion — plus frills — to avoid fighting.
Here’s how Intel describes the settlement:
Intel Corporation and Advanced Micro Devices today announced a comprehensive agreement to end all outstanding legal disputes between the companies, including antitrust litigation and patent cross licence disputes.
So, they’re not fighting directly anymore, and the mountains of patent and antitrust disputes are resolved: Intel will pay this ridiculously large sum of money to AMD, and agree to not engage in anything even resembling monopolistic behaviour, and both companies will live in harmony, cross-licensing technologies and competing, but softly! Great. Well, sort of: Intel’s biggest problems right now don’t come from other companies, but from governments: Complaints from AMD no doubt helped spur investigations by the European Commission and New York Attorney General into Intel’s business practices, and as part of the agreement AMD is withdrawing their complaints with both agencies, but the EC issued their $US1 billion+ fine quite a while ago and from the looks of it, the AG’s office is eager to move forward with their investigation too. In other words, this probably isn’t the end of the pain for Intel.
That, kids, is why you don’t engage in anticompetitive practices in a two-company industry. [WSJ Law Blog]