Why Is NY, Not The FTC Or DOJ, Filing Antitrust Claims Against Intel?

from the grandstanding dept

I have no idea if Intel is really guilty of antitrust violations or not at this point — though, considering the fact that its products keep getting faster and cheaper, it’s not as if there’s been some obvious huge monopoly rents handed out somewhere. However, I do find it quite odd that it’s Andrew Cuomo, NY’s Attorney General, filing antitrust charges against the company, rather than the federal government. The DOJ and the FTC have been investigating Intel for a while, and haven’t yet filed charges. Europe has — but Europe seems to do that against any successful American tech company eventually, as the European standard for “antitrust” often appears to be “big successful American company” rather than any proof of antitrust behavior. To have Cuomo file such a case just seems misplaced. What does it have to do with New York? Given Andrew Cuomo’s rather long history of silly grandstanding to bully companies for the sake of getting his own name in the headlines, rather than any actual legal basis, it feels like more of the same. Pick a big target, don’t worry about the legal specifics, but get headlines to build up the name of Andrew Cuomo. It’s pretty sad that Cuomo seems to keep attacking innovative tech companies solely for the sake of building up his own political reputation. Tangling up innovation in pointless lawsuits doesn’t help the economy in the slightest.

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Companies: intel

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Comments on “Why Is NY, Not The FTC Or DOJ, Filing Antitrust Claims Against Intel?”

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Tom (profile) says:

AntiTrust is AntiBusiness

Our Antitrust laws make any businessman a criminal simply by doing business. NO mater what action you take, you are violating one or more of the myriad of antitrust laws in this country. They were designed so that politicians could loot companies to satisfy bloodthirsty voters, and that’s exactly how they are used.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

NY is also battling with the Indians (again) over cigarette taxes and is losing a couple million a year by NYers going to the reservations to buy cigarettes instead of paying the obscene taxes ( I am not a smoker). NY really doesn’t have a leg to stand on since the treaties signed 200 years ago with the Native Americans granted them tax free status.

Intel is an easier target for a state that has been in the red for some time. Intel has money, NY needs it.

Easily Amused says:

Re: Ambiguity in the text

See, this is the problem with being a grammar nazi. If you are too strident about it you look like an asshole, but if you are only vaguely sarcastic it looks like you have zero reading comprehension.

In the future, you can avoid these pitfalls by just refraining from hitting the ‘reply’ button unless you have something to say that actually adds to the discussion.

On topic, Cuomo is the douchiest of bags, is only in this for the headlines, will probably smarm his way into the Governorship anyways, and will likely be a terrible leader. Maybe even continue his grandstanding in a bid to jockey for the White House… Someone should catch him with a hooker already and save the state and the rest of us from his BS.

Big Al says:

‘Europe seems to do that against any successful American tech company eventually, as the European standard for “antitrust” often appears to be “big successful American company”‘:
Please note that Ii am neither European not American. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t multiple states get a judgement against Microsoft (even if it did turn out to be a minor slap on the wrist) for antitrust with regard to the included browser? The EU are following exactly the same line with regard to the media player (and now, also, the browser again). And isn’t this NY antitrust suit against Intel just a carbon-copy of the European one?
Seems like a little bit of turning a blind eye to unethical practices on your part simply because the company is a “big successful American company”

Designerfx (profile) says:


Intel actually was found guilty in the EU, so it’s probably just coming back around. Evidence from the EU showed intel doing some quite nasty stuff – AMD has screwed up too, but intel has done some supremely shady marketing that is going to hit AMD for years. What do you know, AMD’s business went to crap right about the same time as the Intel antitrust stuff found here. Coincidence?

/pretty much same stuff MS does – buy our products, we give you money, but them again or we’re going to shut you off

Meanwhile, the EU doesn’t seem to be exactly biased against US tech companies, specifically because intel is a global/worldwide company. They’re not a “us company” anymore than the mitsubishi plants in the us are an asian company.

Spanky says:


Sorry, but while Intel may be somewhat innovative, they’re monopolistic whores as well. Or are you unaware of the history of PCs, dating back to the 80s? Both Microsoft and Intel, just to name a few, have records as long as your arm, and have rarely been called to task.

There’s no question that people like Cuomo and Spitzer have aspirations. There’s also no question that criminal organizations like MS and Intel need to get their clocks cleaned.

techflaws.org (profile) says:

Europe does it right

Europe has — but Europe seems to do that against any successful American tech company eventually, as the European standard for “antitrust” often appears to be “big successful American company” rather than any proof of antitrust behavior.

So it’s got nothing to do with the fact that for years and years only Intel powered PCs were for sale at the largest german retailers? Yeah right.

Matt R (profile) says:

I Sorta Get It

I live in upstate NY, about 30 minutes away from where the AMD plant is going to be built. They have re-designed and added roads and there has been extensive residential development. The addition of this plant should significantly stimulate the economy around the area, and no doubt some kind of contribution to the economy of the state.

So my friends, is it really such a strange move on NY’s part? Now, with that said, I don’t really think they have all that much of a case hence the fed not getting involved.

Mart says:

“Europe has — but Europe seems to do that against any successful American tech company eventually, as the European standard for “antitrust” often appears to be “big successful American company” rather than any proof of antitrust behavior.”
Oh come on Mike! For someone who always has such intelligent insight and often looks at the “other side” of news and opinion, that’s a rather stupid thing to say. Did you do any research into this? Do you have any examples of all the other (and there must be loooooots of them ;)) companies convicted by the EU, aside from Intel and Microsoft? Did you actually do any research before you just repeated general US opinion?

Could it perhaps just seem that way in the US? Could it be that you only hear of American companies getting a conviction because only that news reaches the US? Do Americans care when a company in Germany, France or Spain is convicted? I don’t think so. Why would any American newspaper or website write about Telefonica getting a 151 million euro (224 million dollar) fine for charging to much for broadband in Spain?

Did you do any research before you write things like that? Take a look at these statistics on EU illegal cartel rulings: http://ec.europa.eu/competition/cartels/statistics/statistics.pdf Just take a look at table 1.6 on page 5. All big American companies right? Oh wait! So perhaps not in cartels, they just pick on American companies in antitrust rulings, that must be it!

So go ahead, they’ve got a search page where you can look at all the cases they’ve dealt with online. http://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/index.cfm# Just search for all antitrust rulings, and see how many European companies are getting sued. Yes, there are big American companies as well, but hey, if they don’t like our antitrust laws (which, as you can see, are applied to EU companies more often), they’re free to leave the EU…

Alatar says:

Oh no...

Although I understand well and agree with you on the fact that Intel shouldn’t be sued precisely by NY and that Cuomo who just seems to be looking for media attention, I can’t agree with you on the

[i]Europe has — but Europe seems to do that against any successful American tech company eventually, as the European standard for “antitrust” often appears to be “big successful American company” rather than any proof of antitrust behavior.[/i]

Intel actually does deserve a lawsuit. Evidence of terrible conduct have been found by Europe, and it’s not an “anti-american stance”, as most of those “bad actions” were hurting, guess who, not an European firm but Sunnyvale-based AMD. Defending American firms against dirty monopoly practices, wasn’t that supposed to be the role of the US Authorities?

Peter (profile) says:

it's federalism

I gotta disagree on this one with you, Mike, at least until the merits of the antitrust claims are better developed. This is the way federalism works. Federal antitrust law does not preempt state law (it could if Congress wanted it to), and NY State’s move is something a state is entitled to pursue if it wants to in order to protect its legal and economic interests. So the suggestion (made explicit by wnyght) that Cuomo has no business filing this lawsuit because it ought to be up to the feds is entirely misguided.

And the feds have been notoriously uninterested in enforcing antitrust laws these past 20 years or so. It’s all of a piece with the deregulation of our entire financial system. So I am just as prone to thinking Cuomo is jumping into an area in which Congress has been essentially bought off as much as you are ready to jump in and think it’s merely Cuomo putting his name up in the lights.

Intel hasn’t exactly been a gentle player in the marketplace. I’ll wait and see how this plays out before I judge it.

gametheoryman (profile) says:

from a former antitruster

From the perspective of an economist formerly at the FTC for nearly a decade:

1. Antitrust cases can be initiated in many ways. Almost every state has an antitrust law similar to the federal law. Any of these states can initiate an antitrust suit on their own. The federal statutes also allow individuals to file antitrust suits on their own.

2. All U.S. antitrust cases, no matter how they originate, are ultimately tested in the courts against the same set of precedents.

3. Both the FTC and DOJ know of this case. They most likely concluded an antitrust violation was unlikely after taking a quick look. I give this some weight because federal antitrust analysis got quite a bit more sophisticated around three decades ago. Others less so.

cKarlGo says:

re: Why Is NY, Not The FTC Or DOJ, Filing Antitrust Claims Against Intel?


I spent some time reading the complaint. I’d suggest you do the same, if you have not. It’s good reading and, should NY be able to prove even a fraction of what it is alleging, then it seems Intel has been very, very naughty. Much of it seems to be coming from their own email and depositions of their own employees.

My only confusion is why aren’t they going after Dell too? They seem to be as much at fault as Intel was…

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