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Intel denies antitrust allegations

Business as usual for the chip giant

Intel, the world's largest chip maker, said it disagrees with antitrust allegations made by rival AMD and said it will continue to operate as it has in the past.

"We unequivocally disagree with AMD's claims," said Paul Otellini, Intel's president and CEO, in a prepared statement.

Earlier this week, AMD filed a wide-ranging antitrust suit against Intel in the US, alleging it has maintained a monopoly in the PC processor market by illegally coercing customers around the world into using its chips. The company hopes to bring its case before a jury by the end of next year.

"Intel has always respected the laws of the countries in which we operate. We compete aggressively and fairly. This will not change," Otellini said in the statement.

The company said it has faced similar antitrust issues in the past and predicted it will be able to resolve the AMD suit "favourably."

In March, the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) found that Intel had abused its monopoly power in the Japanese microprocessor market, substantially restraining competition. Intel disagreed with the findings, but pledged to refrain from several types of business practices.

The European Commission has also said it is pursuing an investigation against Intel for possible antitrust violations, and the company has been the subject of US investigations in the past.

Right or wrong, Intel's dominance of the computer processor business makes it an easy target for antitrust suits. In the first quarter of 2005, Intel shipped 81.7 percent of the world's desktop, server and notebook processors based on the x86 instruction set used by both AMD and Intel to run their processors, according to data from Mercury Research.

AMD's 48-page complaint alleges that Intel used illegal subsidies to win sales, and in some cases threatened computer makers with "severe consequences" for carrying AMD products.

In order to win its case, AMD needs to demonstrate that Intel is in possession of monopoly power, and that the company is guilty of abusing that power to maintain its dominance and harm consumers, analysts have said.


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