Andrew Cuomo, New York Attorney General, has recently filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against the microprocessor maker Intel which alleges that the company engaged in a "systematic campaign" of illegal conduct in order to protect a monopoly.The New York lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware on Wednesday, accuses Intel of extracting exclusive agreements from large computer makers and then threatening to punish those companies perceived to be working too closely with any Intel competitors.
Payments totalling billions of dollars were given by Intel in exchange for these exclusive agreements, and the company threatened to cut off payments to computer makers or even fund their competitors if they worked with other microprocessor makers, the lawsuit also claims. This comes less than two weeks following news reports that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is considering filing a formal complaint against Intel. These payments were called "rebates" when given to Dell, Hewlett-Packard and IBM. Cuomo referred to the rebates as "payoffs with no legitimate business purpose."
These payments for exclusive agreements that Intel provided could, in some cases, make the difference between a profit and loss for some computer makers or segments of their businesses, Cuomo informed. In a select few cases, the payments from Intel even exceeded a company's reported quarterly net income. Courtesy of computerworld.com