NY Attorney General slaps Intel with antitrust suit

It ain't over yet for Intel. After receiving a $1.45 billion fine from the European Commission for antitrust violations, Intel has now gotten sued by New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo for similar transgressions.

According to the New York Times, this latest lawsuit accuses Intel of "abusing its dominant position in the chip market to keep its main rival, Advanced Micro Devices, at bay." Cuomo, like the European Commission, claims Intel coerced PC vendors into limiting their use of AMD processors.

"Rather than compete fairly, Intel used bribery and coercion to maintain a stranglehold on the market," Mr. Cuomo said in a statement. "Intel's actions not only unfairly restricted potential competitors, but also hurt average consumers who were robbed of better products and lower prices." . . . During the press conference, New York prosecutors said Intel abused its monopoly power "as a central business strategy" rather than just in isolated incidents.

If you'll recall, AMD filed its own antitrust lawsuit against Intel in 2005, and the Federal Trade Commission subsequently launched an investigation into Intel's alleged antitrust activities last year.

The AMD case will go to trial next year. Quoting a source familiar with the case, the Times says Cuomo's move may prompt the FTC to take legal action against Intel, as well. Officially, Cuomo stated in a press conference about today's suit, "We have been cooperating with the F.T.C. We have a good, productive dialogue on this matter." On its end, the FTC says its investigation remains in progress.

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