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AMD’s response on cross-license deal with Intel!

March 25, 2009

Folks, as promised, here’s the response from AMD on the ongoing cross-license affair with Intel.

I posed the same set of questions I had for Intel, and AMD’s spokesperson, Michael Silverman, very kindly sent me the replies.

Is this affair helping anyone?
So, if AMD and Intel were stick to their lines, will it help anyone?

Silverman said that AMD would be happy to make the entire agreement public if Intel drops its insistence on secrecy concerning its exclusionary business practices under the guise of confidentiality it has imposed on evidence in the US civil antitrust case. There is no commercial reason to have those documents under seal; it is simply a means for Intel to try to conceal its illegal behavior.

Now, AMD wants Intel to lift a demand that evidence submitted in its US antitrust suit against the chip maker be kept confidential. If it is a demand, why is it being raised?

According to the AMD spokesperson: “It is clear that global antitrust regulators are zeroing in on their illegal monopoly, with rulings against the company in Japan and Korea, and a Statement of Objections issued in Europe. Intel has so far failed to convince any regulatory body that has studied evidence obtained from Intel and its own customers that its business practices are lawful.”

In exactly what specific manner, according to AMD, has Intel’s actions violated the cross-license agreement?

AMD’s response on this count is that the AMD-Intel cross-license agreement is a two-way agreement, the benefits of which go to both companies. “Intel leverages innovative AMD IP critical for its product designs under the cross license. This includes AMD patents related to 64-bit architecture extensions, integrated memory controller, multi-core architecture, etc.). The cross-license is very much a two-way street. In fact, we informed Intel that their attempt to terminate AMD’s license itself constitutes a breach of the cross-license agreement, which, if uncured, gives AMD the right to terminate Intel’s license.”

Again, an Intel spokesman had said it was willing to make the agreement made public, but said AMD prevented this from happening. What’s the mystery?

Silverman said: “It was actually AMD that made the redacted version of the cross-license agreement public to begin with -– not Intel, so we reject this notion out-of-hand. AMD would be happy to make the entire agreement public if Intel drops its insistence on secrecy concerning its exclusionary business practices under the guise of confidentiality it has imposed on evidence in the US civil antitrust case. There is no commercial reason to have those documents under seal; it is simply a means for Intel to try to conceal its illegal behavior.”

How is all this helping the industry?
Finally, how is this dueling over the license helping the global semiconductor industry? I don’t see it helping anything at all!

Silverman added that Intel has manufactured this diversion as an attempt to distract attention from the increasing number of antitrust rulings against it around the world. “With a ruling from the European Commission and a US trial date looming, and investigations by the US FTC and NY Attorney General, the clock is ticking on Intel’s illegal practices — and yet with its dominant monopoly position it still tries to stifle competitors.

“We believe that, ultimately, Intel will either decide on its own or be forced to cease abusing its monopoly power and allow natural market forces to occur. This would speed the pace of innovation, lower prices, and improve the lives of consumers everywhere.”

Shake hands, guys
Right, this blog post is an attempt from my side to help Intel and AMD settle their differences, instead of consistently pointing fingers at each other. I personally have nothing to gain out of this, except a few readers who may wish to read this. It would really be great if these two very admirable companies could bury the hatchet and work out some sort of an agreement.

Intel has already expressed a desire to sit down and negotiate with GlobalFoundries about a license. I hope this happens, soon!

Following this, I hope I am, at some stage, able to conduct an event, where I can discuss global trends, with both AMD and Intel on the dias, along with many others from the global semiconductor industry.

My request to both AMD and Intel: please take off those gloves and shake hands! 🙂

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