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Intel Comes Out Swinging in Response to AMD

The gloves are off.

Intel finally responded to AMD's lawsuits accusing the chip giant of illegal anti-competitive practices.

Intel executives have declined to comment at length to AMD's charges, except to insist the charges were without merit and that Intel competes fairly. Today in a detailed response, Intel said AMD's inability to gain more significant market share is the result of its own missteps, rather than any illegal actions on Intel's part.

Intel said AMD has a reputation for being an unreliable supplier.

In a statement filed with the U.S. District Court in Delaware, Intel said "AMD's complaint presents a case study in legal dissonance. Although AMD has purportedly brought its complaint to promote competition, its true aim is the opposite. Under the cover of competition law, AMD seeks to shield itself from competition. AMD seeks to impede Intel's ability to lower prices and thereby to allow AMD to charge higher prices. AMD's colorful language and fanciful claims cannot obscure AMD's goal of shielding AMD from price competition."

Intel said AMD has "a history (of) manufacturing snafus that led it to cut off microprocessor supplies to many customers, making it difficult to regain share and crippling earnings."

AMD was quick to respond to the charges. "It is true that with our early K6 processor, we had difficulty ramping one of our steppers. That hurt us for a couple of quarters," Thomas McCoy, AMD's executive vice president of legal affairs told internetnews.com. "But it's overwhelmingly true that we've been a worthy competitor for over twenty years, and now we have the technology lead. The problem is that Intel is using its monopoly power to force the world to accept Intel monopoly prices and is illegally insulated from having to compete on price and performance. We know that Intel is not the price leader, AMD is. Intel maintains a very constant monopoly margin it's proud of."

McCoy pointed out that the Fair Trade Commission of Japan found Intel guilty in March of antitrust violations . The European Commission officials also raided several Intel offices across Europe this summer as part of the ongoing investigation of Intel for antitrust violations.

The Intel response claims AMD has played it safe over the years with "an anemic investment in manufacturing capacity." But Intel gave AMD credit for its success with the 64-bit Opteron processor for the server market, where it brought out a dual-core offering ahead of Intel. "When AMD is able to combine competitive products with reliable supply, the market responds," said Intel.

"Let's not debate it anymore," said AMD's McCoy. "We brought this case to put light on the truth. We'll put it in a courtroom and the world will see for itself."