28 June 2005 Chip maker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has filed a complaint against its arch rival Intel, claiming a “worldwide coercion” of stifling competition and dissuading major firms from buying AMD computer chips.
The 48-page antitrust complaint, filed in the US federal court in Delaware, alleges that Intel operated an illegal monopoly in the x86 processor market.
Intel currently accounts for 80% of sales of x86 chips which is commonly used to run Microsoft Windows, Solaris and Linux operating systems.
AMD lists 38 companies it claims were coerced by Intel into exclusively buying their products including Dell, Sony, Toshiba and Hitachi. In an example of exclusivity, AMD claims that its share of Sony’s business dropped from 23% in 2002 to nothing in 2004.
“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 chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer.
A recent ruling from the Fair Trade Commission of Japan found that Intel had contravened Japan’s Antimonopoly Act – a charge Intel did not contest. And the European Commission has announced an investigation against Intel into similar charges.
But, the antitrust complaint is not likely to harm sales of Intel chips in the short term. Apple computers announced in June that it will be moving away from using IBM and Freescale Semiconductor PowerPC processors to Intel’s chips.