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Intel takes £31 bn in monopoly profits since 1996

Intel takes £31 bn in monopoly profits since 1996

Monopoly? AMD thinks Intel is one but the courts have yet to decide.

Between the years 1996 and 2006, Intel has extracted more then £31 billion in monopoly profits from the sales of its microprocessor. At least that is what an outside consulting firm, which has been retained by AMD's outside counsel, has said in an economic study that was released on August 2nd.

Dr. Michael A. Williams, Director of ERS Group, has said, “Intel has extracted $60 billion in monopoly profits over the past decade; over the next decade consumers and computer manufacturers would save over $80 billion from a fully competitive market.

A monopoly profit is when a company can set its price at a level above the fair market price for a good or service and still not lose profits to competitors. This profit is generally a lot more then what a company could make given a fair competitive marketplace.

Should the microprocessor market be a fairly competitive market, the study has stated that consumers would save at least £32 billion while computer manufacturers would save £10 billion over the next decade. The savings to manufacturers would be passed on to R&D while improving products and creating a larger variety in products available.

The monopoly profits in question are said to have come from Intel coercing computer manufacturers and retailers alike to either stock just Intel based products or to to stock such a high number of Intel based products that it artificially affects a customer's decision on which product they would buy.

AMD and Intel have been known to row before with Intel suing AMD over AMD allegedly copying Intel's microcode back in the early nineties and then AMD suing Intel for using anticompetitive practices in the US just two years ago. The latter case is still pending a trial case set for April 2009.

Intel also faces antitrust charges from the European Union but full details are currently unavailable.

With Intel making a better product for the larger portion of the past decade, coercion attempts seem probable but also possibly unlikely since AMD didn't really garner the mass support of enthusiasts and regular consumers alike until the launch of its A64 line back in September 2003. Perhaps a price drop on AMD's processor line could have driven more sales due to the fact that price is a major factor in purchasing decisions by consumers.

Do you think that Intel really is the big, bad bully that AMD is portraying it to be or does AMD just have its panties in a bunch over not being able to gain the largest portion of the market share pie? Discuss it with us over in the forums or down below in the comments section.

17 Comments

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Infenro 4th August 2007, 10:53 Quote
i would say this is true of nvidia at the moment........

but intel have since improved as of 22nd july :p
DXR_13KE 4th August 2007, 11:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Infenro
i would say this is true of nvidia at the moment.......

i agree
[USRF]Obiwan 4th August 2007, 17:06 Quote
Afcourse Intel is mono. They can do anything they like and AMD still looses. Intel can raise and drop their prices and amd will never catch up. Intel is the bully in the pool. And everytime AMD comes up to breath some air, the bully pushes the little kid underwater again, but strugling to keep above water.

Intel could litterary push AMD to the bottom of the pool if they really want too. And they will if the liveguard on the side is not watching...
DarkLord7854 4th August 2007, 19:12 Quote
I don't get what the big deal is.. So Intel was smarter and did a better job then AMD, now AMD is whining that they're going down and are trying to kick Intel in the balls in the hopes that they'll win money from Intel and stay afloat? Lol.
[USRF]Obiwan 4th August 2007, 21:10 Quote
The big deal is, if AMD is going down. Intel could ask any price they want for a processor. And you cant say "i buy something else" because you cant buy anything else because there are no others to buy from.
bloodcar 4th August 2007, 21:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [USRF]Obiwan
The big deal is, if AMD is going down. Intel could ask any price they want for a processor. And you cant say "i buy something else" because you cant buy anything else because there are no others to buy from.

Keep in mind though that generally the better product will win the hearts of consumers unless the lesser product has a better bang-for-your-buck ratio. AMD held a coupe and had topped 20 percent of the marketshare after the release of the A64 a few years back. Intel came back though with their C2D line and that left AMD just sitting there with its thumbs up its butt. If companies would put half of much effort into their R&D as they put into whining and these lawsuits, then current technology would probably be far superior then what it is today.
EQC 5th August 2007, 00:36 Quote
Intel may be a "big bully" -- but I don't think they've done anything illegal or that they need to be punished for.

If Intel is a bigger company with more resources, that gives them a capability to hold extra weight in the market and control the situation a bit more. Taking advantage of that is good business practice. Instead of striking deals to sell more processors, should Intel have been sending checks to AMD, you know, to help the little guy? Noooo....this is business, not pre-school sharing time.

Yes, it is true that the marketplace is better when there are several competitors...but if one competitor finds themselves in the lead, it's not their job to help everybody else catch up.

"Monopoly" is being thrown around in all this like an evil buzz word in an attempt to blame Intel for any apparent failures at AMD. We don't here IBM complaining about Apple switching to Intel chips -- one way or another, Apple saw Intel's product as a better choice. Interestingly enough, Apple didn't choose AMD's products either...and I don't think Apple would have been affected by the fact that Intel made an exclusivity deal with Dell, now would they?
adam197 5th August 2007, 00:46 Quote
What everyone else is saying...

Intel simply have a better product at present. Im not sure of their business dealings from 1996, but they certainly havnt done anything wrong in the recent past as far as I am aware. Its not as if they are using their market dominance to segregate the market so that they are the only choice available to consumers.
Rocket733 5th August 2007, 02:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by adambrennan
What everyone else is saying...

Intel simply have a better product at present. Im not sure of their business dealings from 1996, but they certainly havnt done anything wrong in the recent past as far as I am aware. Its not as if they are using their market dominance to segregate the market so that they are the only choice available to consumers.

Umm if you might remember Intel has apparently used it's market power to threaten companies who are considering using AMD processors. They've threaten to take away discounts if OEMs don't exlusively use their processors.
Particle Man 5th August 2007, 06:16 Quote
I've always prefered AMD over Intel. Far as I'm concerned Intel is just as bad as some of the old monopoly's from the early 90's.


I don't care how far ahead Intel gets, I'm sticking with AMD.
adam197 5th August 2007, 13:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket733
Umm if you might remember Intel has apparently used it's market power to threaten companies who are considering using AMD processors. They've threaten to take away discounts if OEMs don't exlusively use their processors.

Wasnt aware of this. Got any links?
cpemma 5th August 2007, 14:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket733
Umm if you might remember Intel has apparently used it's market power to threaten companies who are considering using AMD processors. They've threaten to take away discounts if OEMs don't exlusively use their processors.
Not really a "threat", a discount is a carrot. But a very big carrot;
Quote:
Originally Posted by CNN Money
Lerach's (Dell shareholder, Jan 2007) suit alleges, among other things, that from at least 2003 to 2006 Dell received massive, undisclosed, end-of-quarter rebate payments from Intel in exchange for Dell's agreement not to ship any computers using microprocessors made by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). The payments were allegedly never less than $100 million per quarter and, in at least one year, totaled about $1 billion. (During this period Dell represented about 20% of the worldwide market for the x86 processors both Intel and AMD made.) Intel forbade Dell from disclosing the payments, the complaint says, so as not to draw scrutiny from antitrust regulators. The payments were allegedly known to only about 15 top Dell officers, and were negotiated with personal involvement by Grove, Michael Dell, and Rollins. Since 1999, according to the complaint, Dell Computer would secretly design AMD-powered computers every year, but it would never ship them "due to the large sums of money the Company would lose from Intel for breaching the exclusive Dell/Intel processor relationship." These payments were allegedly in addition to, and nearly an order of magnitude larger than, the "market development funds" that Intel was known to be paying Dell and other customers under co-branding programs like "Intel Inside."
...
The centerpiece of AMD's (2005) suit was the claim that Intel was paying so-called loyalty rebates to numerous major computer makers in exchange for varying degrees of exclusivity--80%, 90%, and, in some cases, 100%. In March 2005 the Japan Fair Trade Commission had found that Intel was, indeed, paying such rebates to five major Japanese computer makers (presumably Sony, Toshiba, NEC, Hitachi, and Fujitsu, though the companies are unnamed in the public version of the JFTC order) and that the rebates violated Japanese competition law. (Intel settled the JFTC matter shortly thereafter without admitting wrongdoing.)
DougEdey 5th August 2007, 14:58 Quote
Has Intel been found guilty of running a monopoly?
cpemma 5th August 2007, 19:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougEdey
Has Intel been found guilty of running a monopoly?
There seems to be a problem with the definitions of 'monopoly'; to my simple mind 'monopoly' and 'competitors' don't go together.
Quote:
Originally Posted by article
A monopoly profit is when a company can set its price at a level above the fair market price for a good or service and still not lose profits to competitors.
Monopoly money is different again.
DougEdey 5th August 2007, 19:26 Quote
Who determines what a fair market price is? People always complained about the retail stuff being expensive, but the PCs that were built around them were a fair price.
victorres2 5th August 2007, 22:46 Quote
okay i understand the part in monopoly where the company set the prices higher and higher, but then on july 22 intel proved amd wrong and been doing that for a while. now why is it that we have "fair competition laws" when is up to the other company to do better. i dont hear apple complaining that microsoft has a 90% market share on personal computers, instead they make better products like ipods, iphone, and itunes wich they have an 80-85% market share, thats how you do business in my opinion because microsoft is never gonna get to that point with the zune. AMD is only whinning because they hit a wall on their reverse engineering.
:(
bloodcar 6th August 2007, 04:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpemma
Monopoly money is different again.
Generally though, monopoly money is made by a company that has a monopoly in one industry.

Quite frankly though, I find this study very biased as the firm that did the study was basically paid by AMD to do the study. Should an independent firm with no ties to either business or the industry find the same results, I'd believe it and not take it with a massive grain of salt like I do with this one.
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