LONDON -- A study on behalf of AMD in its long running antitrust dispute against Intel suggests the latter extracted monopoly profits from microprocessor sales of more than $60 billion in the decade between 1996 to 2006.
The report, by Michael Williams, a director of the ERS Group, a financial consulting firm, is claimed to explain why "pro-competitive justifications for Intel's monopoly profits are implausible," and indicates one of the arguments AMD will likely use in its case both in the U.S. courts and when presenting its case to the European Commission as it rules on Intel's alleged anticomptitive practices.
Williams was hired to undertake the study by O'Melveny & Myers LLP, AMD's attorneys in the Delaware case, for which a data has not yet been set.
Intel dismissed the allegation as "wild speculation" based on unsubstantiated assumptions.
Williams' analysis suggests consumers would save at least $61 billion over the decade, with computer manufacturers projected to save another $20 billioon.
He said: "In light of the recent European Commission decision and prior Japan Fair Trade Commission actions, this analysis asks not whether Intel has engaged in anticompetitive conduct, but how much Intel has gained from the alleged conduct."
The study bases its calculations on the European Commission's allegations of illegal discounting, below-cost pricing and payments to computer makers to not use AMD products. It also relies on a Japanese antitrust case in which the Japanese Fair Trade Commission contended that Intel offered inappropriate rebates to computer makers. Intel settled the case in 2005 while disagreeing with the findings.
Thomas McCoy, AMD executive vice president, legal affairs and chief administrative officer stated : "Intel's monopoly profits of $60 billion directly contradict Intel's claim that its business practices have resulted in
lower prices - in fact this study shows that billions of dollars have moved straight from consumers pockets to Intel's monopoly coffers."
He added the $80 biillion figure "translates into an Intel monopoly tax on every consumer who purchases a computer. That's a jaw-dropping figure that
helps explain why the European Commission brought antitrust charges against Intel."
Speaking to the San Jose Mercury News Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy rubbished the basis of the report and said :"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."