New York Announces Investigation of Intel

January 10, 2008. The Office of the Attorney General of the state of New York announced in a release that it has "served a wide-ranging subpoena seeking documents and information on Intel Corporation".

Andrew Cuomo, the NY Attorney General, stated in this release that "we have determined that questions raised about Intel's potential anticompetitive conduct warrant a full and factual investigation ... Protecting fair and open competition in the microprocessor market is critical to New York, the United States, and the world."

Cuomo added that "Businesses and consumers everywhere should have the ability to easily choose the best products at the best price and only fair competition can guarantee it. Monopolistic practices are a serious concern particularly for New Yorkers who are navigating an information-intensive economy."

Tom McCoy, EVP Legal Affairs at AMD, the primary beneficiary of this action, stated in the AMD web site that "New York Stateís decision, based on its findings to date, to open a formal investigation of Intelís anticompetitive business practices is good news for computer buyers in NY and throughout the United States."

On July 27, 2007, the European Commission (EC) announced in a release that it has "has sent a Statement of Objections (SO) to Intel on 26th July 2007. The SO outlines the Commission's preliminary view that Intel has infringed the EC Treaty rules on abuse of a dominant position (Article 82) with the aim of excluding its main rival, AMD, from the x86 Computer Processing Units (CPU) market." See, story titled " European Commission Initiates Proceeding Against Intel Alleging Anticompetitive Behavior" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,617, July 27, 2007.

Albert Foer, head of the American Antitrust Institute (AAI), stated in a release that "This is an example of the wisdom of having state antitrust laws that replicate the federal law".

Foer added that "When there is a competitive problem that affects consumers, and the federal government is slow to act, the states have the ability -- and responsibility to their citizens -- to fill the vacuum. New Yorkís citizens, not to mention its government, purchase one heck of a lot of computer equipment containing microchips. They should not have to pay higher prices or be deprived of advantageous innovations because of a dominant firmís strategies to keep its rival at a low market share."

Foer wrote to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) last year requesting that it "weigh in" against Intel. See, letter [PDF] dated August 27, 2007. The FTC, which shares antitrust authority with the Department of Justice's (DOJ) Antitrust Division, has taken no action against Intel.