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Intel Inflates CPU Prices says AMD. We Investigate

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May 26, 2009 8:49:18 PM

How can you say "If the EU's findings are indeed true"?? Who do you think UE is?!

This article is a joke. You try to find out the truth when Japan, South Korea and Europe already found it and took action against Intel.

Intel fan boy or Intel paid article?
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-22
May 26, 2009 8:57:53 PM

Well I don't think you can expect AMD to not try to put a positive spin on this. If you come to them directly and ask what they think of their competition they're not going to give them a raving review.

AMD: "Well shucks, Intels alright. Sure they do some illegal things, but they're good people all the same"

No I don't think Intel inflates CPU prices. By the vary nature of competition both companies help to lower prices.
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12
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May 26, 2009 8:59:18 PM

To P1nky

Toms Hardware isn't as good as the good old days.
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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
May 26, 2009 9:00:11 PM

But can it play Crysis?
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May 26, 2009 9:04:37 PM

So by the very nature of competition, it's ok for one company who has significantly more resources kill their competition by selling things at ridiculously low prices that the competition cannot survive?

Great!
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-12
May 26, 2009 9:06:37 PM

dman3kSo by the very nature of competition, it's ok for one company who has significantly more resources kill their competition by selling things at ridiculously low prices that the competition cannot survive?Great!


Did I say that? Umm no. The question is, "Does Intel inflate CPU prices?"
No. Competition lowers prices.
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14
May 26, 2009 9:09:18 PM

Quote:
We realize that the EU accused Intel of actively paying vendors to outright avoid AMD technology.


You sure? The entire article pretty much sidesteps this issue.

The article also focuses purely on today's CPU situation. Back when the Pentium 4 was facing the Athlon 64, Intel made no real attempt to price it's CPUs competitively as it does now. They were still selling $1000 extreme edition CPUs that were beaten by AMD CPUs that cost less than half as much.
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9
May 26, 2009 9:19:16 PM

I own only AMD home built desktops, and yes thought it was great that Intel was getting a fine. But who else thought this was just a bunch of misconstrued garbage for EU to get money? What is next, Cisco getting sued by EU for being competitive?
Also I was appalled to learn that AMD does not have the same level of interaction with company system builders in a previous article on this website. You reap what you sow.
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10
May 26, 2009 9:19:56 PM

well, is it ridiculously low price or inflated prices?
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6
May 26, 2009 9:20:01 PM

Quote:
one has to wonder why these trials rarely end in the plaintiff's favor here in the U.S.
Here in the U.S., anti-competitive practices rarely see the light of day in court, unless there's strong public outcry.

Quote:
We realize that the EU accused Intel of actively paying vendors to outright avoid AMD technology
But yet you are determined to sideline that real issue in this article.

Quote:
This only makes Intel's behavior anti-competitive
Let's focus on AMD's key question. Why would Intel act to limit customer options? You need to revisit your understanding of the nature/root of anti-competitive behavior.

Quote:
I leave it up to you to study what AMD said
I get it, you dont, hopefully most that read this will, despite the anecdotal evidence you seem to rely on...





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May 26, 2009 9:20:23 PM

I like (meaning I don't like) how I'm left to interpret AMD's response which was kind of the the point of article, but I am not informed that the Intel fine was equal to AMD's loss....

I see AMD's point on price inflating for high end CPUs. They clamin that Intel crippled their ability to produce high end CPUs. Right now, there is no consumer (AMD) processor which can compare to the corei7. $1000 for a corei7 965? c'mon... If AMD released a processor which could compete, we would see that price cut in half in a week.
AMD does provide excellent competition for the mid range, so I agree there is not much if any price inflation for those processors. I suppose since I'll never shell out $1000 for a CPU it doesn't really affect me.
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5
May 26, 2009 9:25:23 PM

If not for AMD, we will still be paying top dollars of our hard earned money to own Intel parts.

Anyone still remember the old days when you pay ridiculous price just for a mid performance part and over the roof for the high end stuff (still true these days but to a much lesser extent).

I will always be grateful of what AMD has done for us and thank god they got their acts together with ATI in their graphics division. The radeon 4 series rock, the 3 series was a joke.
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16
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
May 26, 2009 9:26:46 PM

In my opinion the company you were working for and HP should both be fined, the company for misleading customers and HP for anti-competitive strategies.

How can you possibly justify the fact that you didn't advise your customers what they needed but advised them with the goal of filling your own pockets?

Apparently this is legal in the US but it sure as hell is a shady area, and a practice that I (and the EU obviously) deem unacceptable.

I have to agree with P1nky on this one, Intel has been proven wrong and who do you think you are questioning the verdicts of several legal authorities?
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4
May 26, 2009 9:27:30 PM

I payed 300 for my Q9450 over a year ago, prices havn't changed
they just replaced it with the Q9550 (basically identical) and charge the same price for 2009.

Intel will milk every dollar out of us if given the chance.
I refuse to consider/recommend the i7 to anyone, it's just too painfull when I remember the Socket A days, when amd was on top, where for under 100 bucks you could basically get a top of the line athlon (with a little oc).



please don't quote me, just my opinions here.
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16
May 26, 2009 9:29:45 PM

I love how AMD completely ignores the question about how they consider Intel's pricing to be inflated.

TH: Do you consider Intel's pricing to be inflated?
AMD: Intel broke the law!

TH: Yes, Yes, we get that. How do you consider Intel's prices to be inflated?
AMD: Intel broke the law!
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13
May 26, 2009 9:30:15 PM

There seems to be a lot more Intel / Nvidia love coming out in the articles nowadays. You might want to try and stay a little more neutral in the future. The fanboyism is starting to show.
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-5
May 26, 2009 9:31:27 PM

Why else limit choice if not to ensure their products don't have to compete on merits... with pricing being a component.

I think this is pretty clear.

I do remember the Intel jingle all the time and yes AMD needs to focus more on marketing. I mean i do remember "Smarter choice" and "The future is fusion" (i don't like this one) but they don't have a jingle or something really catchy.
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4
May 26, 2009 9:31:42 PM

In the end, im sure everyone here wants the competition between the two rivals to go on for eternity.

Competition = consumer benefits.

I would hate to see AMD die. Intel has money to burn anyway and AMD seriously need that $1.4bil to keep going.

Out of curiosity, does anyone have any idea how much debt they are still in after buying out ATI?
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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
May 26, 2009 9:33:41 PM

One glaring thing this article refuses to acknowledge is the one fact that AMD stresses repeatedly: "For the period from 2002 to 2007". You can ask motherboard manufacturers now and get the expected response "Intel offers high-end, AMD value-priced". What you refuse to acknowledge, repeatedly, is that this was not true for the period in question (2002-2007). Even Tom's Hardware tests repeatedly proved that the Athlon/Athlon64 offerings were superior to Intel's Pentium IV.
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22
May 26, 2009 9:38:55 PM

This article was written by someone who went into this "interview" with their own preconceived notions. All it was ,was one question, asked over and over again, in an argumentative tone, followed by a "preachy" speech based on the "interviewer's" own views. How do you expect AMD to shed light on this subject when it is apparent that the person who did the interview had their own agenda?

Do a search on newegg right now for sub-$100 Retail CPUs :

Intel:
Single core = 1 (1.8GHz)
Dual Core = 8 (1.6GHz - 2.8 GHz)

AMD:
Single Core = 3 (2.2GHz - 2.7GHz)
Dual Core = 9 (2.6GHz - 3.0GHz)
Triple Core 2 (2.1GHz - 2.3GHz)
Quad Core = 1 (2.3GHz)

Intel does offer up some good CPUs in that price range, but half of those Intel dual-cores are 2.2GHz and under, where as AMD's lowest offering for dual cores is 2.6GHz. AMD also has triple and quad core options... I don't think you will see an Intel quad core offered at the sub $100 mark any time soon.

Intel has more money.. hands down... AMD is hurting for money, but still delivers better price conscience options.... Instead of doing underhanded things for business, why doesn't Intel just suck it up and lower their prices?

I guess what I'm trying to say is, AMD's argument holds some water and this article was clearly written by someone who refuses to see that.
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15
May 26, 2009 9:39:42 PM

i find the article fair. my pc is amd based (using an athlon x2). amd could not really prove that intel has an inflated pricing with thier cpus BASED in US pricing but that would not be the fact in other countries like here in the philippines. amd cpus are almost half the price against inline intel products. check this link: http://enigma-phil.com.ph/Downloads.php.
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9
a b à CPUs
May 26, 2009 9:42:05 PM

Quote:
In the first quarter of 2009, AMD spent a total of $287 million to market (PDF) its products. During the same period, Intel spent $1.2 billion (PDF). Intel also spent $1.31 billion on R&D, while AMD spent only $446 million.

How much is Intel's investment vs. its market share? It seems to me both companies spend an amount similar to their percentage of market share, thus no surprise here.

However, budget and market share are not 1:1, nor do they run on a linear scale. I think that if Intel and AMD were both direct-to-consumer marketing, Intel would need to pay a whole lot more for the amount of share it has. Instead, Intel is going to the OEMs, who in turn limit what is available to the consumer.

Therefore, consumers are still being hurt, if not directly by Intel, by the OEMs who accept this money. How can people want an AMD machine if Dell, HP, etc... only make machines with Intel inside(tm)? Why should AMD advertise on TV or have a catchy commercial like guys in colored clean suits dancing around the fab room if the OEMs aren't going to make consumer PCs with AMD processors? If companies don't make AMD machines because no one wants them, thats fine. If they don't make AMD machines simply because Intel pays them to make Intel machines, that's harmful to the consumer, illegal or not.
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11
May 26, 2009 9:46:28 PM

KT_WaspThis article was written by someone who went into this "interview" with their own preconceived notions. All it was ,was one question, asked over and over again, in an argumentative tone, followed by a "preachy" speech based on the "interviewer's" own views. How do you expect AMD to shed light on this subject when it is apparent that the person who did the interview had their own agenda?Do a search on newegg right now for sub-$100 Retail CPUs :Intel:Single core = 1 (1.8GHz)Dual Core = 8 (1.6GHz - 2.8 GHz)AMD:Single Core = 3 (2.2GHz - 2.7GHz)Dual Core = 9 (2.6GHz - 3.0GHz)Triple Core 2 (2.1GHz - 2.3GHz)Quad Core = 1 (2.3GHz)Intel does offer up some good CPUs in that price range, but half of those Intel dual-cores are 2.2GHz and under, where as AMD's lowest offering for dual cores is 2.6GHz. AMD also has triple and quad core options... I don't think you will see an Intel quad core offered at the sub $100 mark any time soon.Intel has more money.. hands down... AMD is hurting for money, but still delivers better price conscience options.... Instead of doing underhanded things for business, why doesn't Intel just suck it up and lower their prices? I guess what I'm trying to say is, AMD's argument holds some water and this article was clearly written by someone who refuses to see that.


While I agree with what you're saying, a dual core intel @2 ghz will not necessarily perform the same as a dual core AMD @2ghz, so you can't compare solely by clock speed.

Also, you say that it was one question over and over again, which it was, but I don't see that AMD ever really answered that one question, they kind of skirted around it.
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6
May 26, 2009 9:50:01 PM

Incentives of any type to provide an advantage to one company over another for market share should be illegal. It is in America overlooked, thanks to lobbyists, a money oriented Congress and lawyers pulling loopholes out of the hat.
Excess profits have been garnered for decades by corporations with sharp attorneys and it's only the consumer who suffers.
Intel's bad boys even infected FAH years ago so I give them an A+ for corrupt practice.
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8
May 26, 2009 9:57:14 PM

Its unfortunate you dont find 3 rulings against Intel as a for sure thing, but grudgingly sorta acknowledge theyre there.
You mention an older article that speaks on the system builders, but you neglected to mention your other previous article, where it shows Intel purposely inflating the price of Atom, which to me is pertinent to your own article. Smacks of fanboyism, while you try to come off as neutral.

The ruling speaks on past crimes Intel's done, not current, and yet you defend the 1000$ cpu pricing. Intel doesnt get it here, as someone mentioned before, if AMDs top cpu's were IPC/feature matching, those 1000$ cpus would be much less. Blinded by Intels actions here?

How much more Advertising, which would put more money into TH's pockets would be available if Intel hadnt broken the law, and AMD would have that ability also, but hey, you wrote the article
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10
May 26, 2009 10:03:30 PM

Just because Intel isn't really inflating now ( other than the very high end tier ) doesn't mean they don't and that it isn't business as usual for them. Given the chance they would have us pay over a grand for a 1 GHZ single core CPU, in this sense they are just like Microsoft.
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6
May 26, 2009 10:04:06 PM

I find the results of the "whether or not they personally felt that CPU prices were too high" poll interesting. Are people STUPID?! They think overall they are good value?! I think the low end is very good value. Sub-one hundred dollars gets you a chip that was the very high-end only a couple of years ago and is still more than capable today, but the high-end is a complete ripoff. Apart from the Core i7s (which are ridiculously high-priced) you only have to look at differing CPUs within the same range. E8400 AU$240 E8500 AU$270. $30 for Intel to clock it a little higher? That's $30 of pure profit.
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4
May 26, 2009 10:09:44 PM

So based on this article I guess Intel is paying Tom's "MDF's" to have more pro Intel articles? This article was a bunch of crap and I'm now removing Tom's Hardware from my feed because this is ridiculous. You basically defended Intel when they were found guilty in a court of law with solid evidence...

Also, last time I checked the QOTD concerning CPU prices, a good amount of people pointed out that the i7 Extreme was the only overpriced CPU yet no mention of that? Bias BS
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2
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
May 26, 2009 10:18:31 PM

I don't know what to make of these statements and articles, but i do know this: I work with and sell computers for a living, and i have not sold a SINGLE Intel based computer since before the days of the Pentium 4, and all Pentium 4 based computers have in one way or another ended up back in my lap, either fried, or simply dumped in order to get rid of them. No, im not an AMD fan-boy, i work with some Intel based computers, i appreciate their performance and the overall quality of their drivers, chipsets and durability (some motherboard-manufacturers excluded) And still, i haven't had a single person go "Hello, i want an Intel processor, nothing else" it's usually "I want something reasonable to work with" or "i want something i can play games on... But i don't want to spend a lot of money". It's always a matter of price, and in my country, AMD based platforms are the best at price/performance, not counting rebates, since they're usually bound to some unreasonable prerequisite. Point is, i for one cannot see this demand for intel based computers... At all. But then again, i don't work for a high profile/large quantity computer maker, that may get some sort of boon, or rebates for choosing Intel.
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8
May 26, 2009 10:25:50 PM

"Despite AMD's response, it's interesting to note that a very well-known motherboard manufacturer indicated that it sells more Intel-based motherboards simply because of customer demand for better performing parts."

Interesting to read what the sales numbers were back in 1999 (enter Athlon) and then in 2003 (enter 64-bit Opteron) when AMD was the clear performance leader. Somehow, Intel continued to gain market-share during this time with their inferior products. All that money went to Intel instead of AMD, but AMD earned it. That cuts out R&D and increases the advantage of Intel. It's unfair, unethical, and has cost the consumer a better price point. This cannot be disputed intelligently, except through coercive smear and spin - much like your article. Intel does not innovate, they copy, re-engineer, spin it as their own "new innovation", and then sell it for a premium. Oh, and cut out the other options to avoid competition, thus keeping their cost/price ratio in-check. We all lose when companies like Intel and Microsoft are allowed to reign unchecked.
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11
May 26, 2009 10:34:02 PM

"Coincidentally, the monumental $1.4 billion fine landing on Intel's lap, matches the quarterly loss of $1.4 billion that AMD reported back in January of this year."

"If the EU's findings are indeed true, in that Intel did illegally coerce partners and vendors to actively avoid AMD technology"


Wow, this article looks like it has been writen by Intel´s CEO!!! I never think that this kind of article can be published in a site like Tom´s Hardware.

Defending Intel, who is "the bad" in this story, and accusing AMD and the EU of been lying and thieves.

Is demostrated that Intel act in illegal form, and you deffend it? Awesome!!

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-4
May 26, 2009 10:34:50 PM

dissapointing article. Sounds like the author was payed by intel to write this article. Where is tomshardware objectivity?
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-1
May 26, 2009 10:40:12 PM

raulrapadura I never think that this kind of article can be published in a site like Tom´s Hardware


An article like this would have never been published on the Tom's we used to know. Enter BestofMedia...
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-6
May 26, 2009 10:52:42 PM

"In the first quarter of 2009, AMD spent a total of $287 million to market (PDF) its products. During the same period, Intel spent $1.2 billion (PDF). Intel also spent $1.31 billion on R&D, while AMD spent only $446 million."

Intel has established itself as an upper-tier, slightly higher priced option. The numbers speak for themselves - Intel comes out with better products because of its "ARCHITECTURE" which is a direct result of R&D. That's what makes Intel better. The new Core i7's (940, 965 EE) DESTROY AMD. Are those prices inflated? I agree with you Tuan - what Arbitrary "Metric" does one use in a court-of-law to establish that? You mine as well complain that Lexus uses an "inflated price scheme" in comparison to Honda, while we all know that Lexus is the luxury edition of Toyota - who is almost IDENTICALLY priced to Honda. Like Quick-Path-Interconnect technology with the Core i7's, you (the consumer) are Paying more for a MUCH better product.

"AMD: So, if the evidence the committee found is that ... and our ASPs over the past 10 years on the average have been lower than Intel's, then by default Intel's actions limited customer and consumer access to higher value options from AMD."

He said this just after he complained that this whole ordeal was not about PRICING !!! What an idiot.

As for the "Coercing" done by Intel? My only response would be - Hey, if they were MDF's, that is all completely contractual, and NOT "DIRECTLY" affecting the competition, but rather, "Indirectly" affecting the competition. You're right Tuan, it's anti-competitive ... but HEY, if the consumer wants the BEST CPU for their system,

Quality always comes at a Price.
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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
May 26, 2009 10:58:28 PM

Why does the interviewer focusses on current hardware when the lawsuit is one that started back in the year 2001 and the investigations for that lawsuit took quite some years from 2002-2007? This make no sence as you need to compare prices at that time. And at that time, the Pentium 4's where much more expensive and didn't perform aswell as the AMD athlon. However, the AMD CPU's barely made it into OEM's PC's because of obvious bribes by Intel. It is proven in the lawsuit, check the evidence(facts!). Don't you find it suspicous when AMD's marketshare drops from 25% (2002) to 9% (2004) in 2 years with a superior product in price and performance(athlon XP/64)?
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2
May 26, 2009 11:00:44 PM

Do you want Intel to drop their prices? Stop buying their products and see what will happen. Man I do sure hope that AMD will not go under and will push Intel to the edge. I don't "care" for any given company - I just care about the value of their products - and right now AMD=value, whereas Intel=rip-off. Ciao!
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6
May 26, 2009 11:01:45 PM

kodeWhy does the interviewer focusses on current hardware when the lawsuit is one that started back in the year 2001 and the investigations for that lawsuit took quite some years from 2002-2007?


because the quote by McCoy was talking about prices being inflated today, in current times.
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8
May 26, 2009 11:02:21 PM

Justs0meGuy ...Intel has been proven wrong and who do you think you are questioning the verdicts of several legal authorities?


Who questions legal Authorities? Oh, I don't know, maybe any citizen of a free country. If it were not for questioning we (if you live in the US) would still be ruled by Britain, without the Magna Carta, and there would be no free enterprise to develop the computer technology we are using now. And all of these posts would be illegal. So we, questioning this decision, are people who want to make sure that Intel is the dishonest one and not the EU.
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9
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
May 26, 2009 11:05:27 PM

Why does the interviewer focusses on current hardware when the lawsuit is one that started back in the year 2001 and the investigations for that lawsuit took quite some years from 2002-2007? This make no sence as you need to compare prices at that time. And at that time, the Pentium 4's where much more expensive and didn't perform aswell as the AMD athlon. However, the AMD CPU's barely made it into OEM's PC's because of obvious bribes by Intel. It is proven in the lawsuit, check the evidence(facts!). Don't you find it suspicous when AMD's marketshare drops from 25% (2002) to 9% (2004) in 2 years with a superior product in price and performance(athlon XP/64)?
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-4
May 26, 2009 11:07:57 PM

When it comes to pricing, lets talk Atom. But, again, it wasnt even mentioned in the article.
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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
May 26, 2009 11:14:54 PM

svenolsen:"because the quote by McCoy was talking about prices being inflated today, in current times."

It's not today, in the article it says: "In a recent press filing, AMD's executive VP of legal affairs, Tom McCoy, said that Intel's CPUs were sold with inflated pricing. "

were sold is in the past, otherwise it would be are sold
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0
May 26, 2009 11:22:39 PM

bullshitsvenolsen:"because the quote by McCoy was talking about prices being inflated today, in current times."It's not today, in the article it says: "In a recent press filing, AMD's executive VP of legal affairs, Tom McCoy, said that Intel's CPUs were sold with inflated pricing. "were sold is in the past, otherwise it would be are sold


"Today" as in recent times. Doesn't matter, you're wrong anyway, since McCoy made this statement THIS year, and the filing was for periods prior to 2007, which is saying AMD still believes Intel's pricing is inflated today.
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10
May 26, 2009 11:42:45 PM

Quote:
One of our best partners at the time, was Hewlett-Packard. While we had our own marketing budget, HP made sure that we would receive a lot of money every month to spend on marketing if we sold more HP products. This was wholly legal. They're called marketing development funds, or MDFs. Many large companies offer this, and while it may differ in name from company to company, the intent is the same.

Consequently, we ended up pushing more HP products than say, IBM products. HP wasn't paying us money to avoid using other vendors' products, but with a lot of cash sitting there for us to use, it made sense to try to accumulate that money instead of dipping into our own pockets. MDFs are not the same as rebates. With rebates, we received lower prices for certain products if we sold enough of other products. If we sold over 1000 HP multi-function printers (MFPs) for example, we would receive rebates on HP server products.


Mr. Tuan Nguyen, If you really believe that practice you describe is in your words "wholly legal", why you are withholding the name of your ex-employer. I am sure that their customers would like to get the real explanation why they have stuck with HP crap. Because my real experience is that companies are giving those rebates and marketing money for staff that is define as crap or really over-priced. Where the hell you think all those money are coming from?! I will tell you - from the pockets of the customers, cheated by you.
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-4
May 26, 2009 11:45:59 PM

Atom costs are inflated, thus, all netbooks are as well. 1000$ cpus are inflated. Any P4 EE price was inflated way beyond its ability.

Intel dropped 2 of its 3 i7 cpus, why? Their prices were too high. They just dont get it, thinking this WAS yesterday, and not todays economy.
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5
May 26, 2009 11:46:37 PM

Did they inflate prices? In my view, indirectly yes. Since they caused AMD to lose as much money as they did due to anti-competitive business strategies. AMDs loss forced them to hike their prices to stay afloat, while Intel just went along for the ride.
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6
May 26, 2009 11:54:02 PM

Hey...

My mother paid $3000 for her first computer, and all she did with it was pay taxes.

Now $3000 is considered an extremist build...

Anti-competitive or not, the consumer still has benefited.

Most importantly, both companies are dropping a lot of cash into R&D still.

Products are getting both better and cheaper, so what the hell are you complaining about?
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-2
May 26, 2009 11:58:03 PM

First of all analysis has to be a bit more refined than what this article presents. You can't compare marketing raw numbers from two companies whose Net Sales and Gross Margins are entirely different. Marketing spending is based on a percentage of last years sales. So use metrics like Marketing as a percentage of Gross Margin % or Net Sales. Second of all, if illegal practices brought down the total revenue that another company would have been due, obviously they are going to have less money to spend on R&D, marketing and the like and therefore they have to cut their margins to compete. Let's introduce car manufacturer's as an analogy. Let's compare some lower priced car manufacturer versus the likes of Toyota. Whose costs of goods sold per unit sold is going to be lower? Toyota hands down because of a thing called Economies of Scale. So who is going to have room for higher profit margins, and thus more money for marketing and potential illegal market blocking? Toyota. Now add to the equation that is other car manufacturer and Toyota are the only two players in the game. Who is going to get the shaft a lot because of spending power and economies of scale? The little guy. We need a level playing field for competition to work to the consumers advantage, where companies can compete based on their merits and not on their market muscle. Your example with HP is a poor one because it leaves out so many relevant details. Thankfully the outcome of these court proceedings didn't rest on your great analytical and decision making skills...
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-4
May 27, 2009 12:02:24 AM

mmurphy1, your wasting your time here, any comment w/ better than a grade school understanding of economics is going to be modded down, this article is pure garbage.
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-4
May 27, 2009 12:21:16 AM

I think AMD's price/performance target is smart because for consumers, getting the most bang for your buck makes the most sense. If your hardware is going to be out-of-date next week, why not pay less?
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3
!