AMD files antitrust complaint against Intel

Allegations include claims that Intel has unlawfully monopolized the x86 microprocessor market by threatening retaliation for customers that introduce AMD platforms.

AMD announced today that it has filed an antitrust complaint against Intel with the U.S. federal district court, claiming the latter has unlawfully monopolized the x86 microprocessor market through worldwide coercion.

The 48-page complaint details Intel's methods of coercion, and identifies 38 companies that have been the firm's victims. The list includes well-known names such as Sony, Toshiba, Gateway and Hitachi.

"Everywhere in the world, customers deserve freedom of choice and the benefits of innovation--and these are being stolen away in the microprocessor market," said Hector Ruiz, AMD's chairman of the board, president and CEO. "Whether through higher prices from monopoly profits, fewer choices in the marketplace or barriers to innovation--people from Osaka to Frankfurt to Chicago pay the price in cash every day for Intel's monopoly abuses."

Intel's share of the global x86 microprocessor market is about 80 percent in unit shipment, and 90 percent by revenues. These processors support a range of operating systems including Microsoft Windows, Sun Solaris and Linux. Apple recently announced that it would switch its Mac OS software to run exclusively on x86 processors.

AMD's move follows a recent ruling from the Fair Trade Commission of Japan (JFTC), which concluded that Intel was engaging in actions that include offering favorable prices to companies that agree not to use, or to limit their use of, other chipmakers' processors.

Intel had accepted the agency's recommendations to stop such practices, although the company stated that it disagreed with the allegations.

Some of AMD's complaints alleged, among others, that Intel is forcing customers into Intel-exclusive deals in return for outright cash payments, adopting discriminatory pricing or marketing subsidies, and threatening retaliation against customers for introducing AMD computer platforms.