Intel Sued by FTC for Monopoly!


Intel (INTC), after settling AMD for $1.25 billion, has more problems for cheating other chip makers for monopolizing with deceiving compiler improvements:

The FTC argued in a release that Intel’s tactics “have stifled innovation and harmed consumers.” The agency also claimed that the company “has waged a systematic campaign to shut out rivals’ competing microchips by cutting off their access to the marketplace.” Read “Intel’s legal woes appear to be far from over.”

“In the process, Intel deprived consumers of choice and innovation in the microchips that comprise the computers’ central processing unit, or CPU,” the FTC said. “These chips are critical components that often are referred to as the ‘brains’ of a computer.”

While the FTC complaint appeared to focus mainly on CPUs, it also mentioned graphics processing units, or GPUs, in a sign that Nvidia’s allegations against Intel may be a major factor in the complaint.

The FTC said it “may seek an order prohibiting Intel from unreasonably excluding or inhibiting the sale of competitive CPUs or GPUs, and prohibiting Intel from making or distributing products that impair the performance — or apparent performance — of non-Intel CPUs or GPUs.”

The agency also alleged that “Intel secretly redesigned key software, known as a compiler, in a way that deliberately stunted the performance of competitors’ CPU chips.”

“Intel told its customers and the public that software performed better on Intel CPUs than on competitors’ CPUs, but the company deceived them by failing to disclose that these differences were due largely or entirely to Intel’s compiler design,” the FTC said.

I don’t know how FTC caught that but for us consumers, this is a good thing as we will have more fair competition in the future, meaning better chips at lower prices.

Monopoly practices by big companies like Intel must be stopped although they have always been on the forefront of chip technology.

What I’d like to see personally is that the chip companies work together with an open standard and compete at a fair level.

I’ve also seen a similar situations where Windows operating system only supported Intel for memory limits whereas AMD chips didn’t. (On older XP systems)

Perhaps, it’s a very good thing FTC finally caught on, no more monopoly please!

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