New York hits Intel with antitrust probe

— 5:25 PM on January 10, 2008

After Japan, South Korea, and the European Union, Intel is now under the antitrust spotlight in New York. According to a report by Reuters, the state has kicked off an investigation to determine whether Intel violated state and federal antitrust law in an effort to stifle AMD.

Reuters quotes New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo as saying a preliminary probe "raised questions" about whether Intel coerced customers into shunning AMD products. Intel is facing similar charges elsewhere, with the European Commission in particular alleging that the company paid off and offered rebates to PC makers to get them to delay or cancel their AMD-based products. Cuomo's office has issued subpoenas to a number of companies—including AMD itself—in order to obtain documents and information about Intel's behavior.

Interestingly, the probe comes from the very state in which AMD plans to build its first U.S.-based chip fabrication plan. We heard rumors in mid-2006 that New York state officials offered AMD a $1 billion package of incentives to encourage the company to build its fab in the Luther Forest Technology Park in Malta. At AMD's 2007 Financial Analyst Day presentation last month, AMD CEO Hector Ruiz stated, "We're looking forward to the day that we ship the greatest products in the processing arena out of New York."

In related news, Intel responded on Monday to the European Commission's antitrust charges. An Intel spokeswoman told Reuters that Intel is seeking a hearing, but Intel's response is so far being kept confidential.

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