The latest development in a pending antitrust suit by CPU manufacturer Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) against its cheif rival, Intel, comes in the form of a glimpse at the case AMD will present in a Delaware federal court. According to a report by Michael Williams, director of ERS Group, an economist hired by AMD, Intel allegedly pocketed $60 billion in ill-gotten, or "monopoly," profits from a decade of anti-competitive behavior. Naturally, Intel dismissed the claims as "wildly speculative and based on flawed assumptions about Intel and the market." "The only thing one can conclude from the study is that if you pay someone enough money you can get them to say almost anything," said Intel spokesman Chris Mulloy.
In the wake of antitrust charges filed by European Commission regulators, AMD hopes to revitalize its case against Intel in the US; the company plans to show the study to US regulators over the next several weeks, in an effort to encourage government action. The study itself bases the $60 billion calculation on the charges filed by the EU commission, as well as a Japanese antitrust case against Intel in 2005. In the report, Williams concludes that absent Intel's market behavior, the average $1,000 computer would cost consumers nearly 1.5 percent, or $14.89, less.
However, doubts about the accuracy of the report come not only from Intel, but from other antitrust lawyers around the US; they point at that economists can differ significantly in their analyses of a market. Colin Underwood, an antitrust attorney with Proskauer Rose in New York, states "Economists are hired to offer opinions to support a case, not to question it. They are hired guns. They will only shoot at the target you want them to shoot at."
Intel has continued to claim it has broken no antitrust laws in any country and vowed last week to persuade EU officials to drop the charges filed against the company.