Intel Suit Exposes 'Squishy' Antitrust Laws

Predatory behavior or competition?
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2008 3:08 PM CDT
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. CEO Hector Ruiz talks during his keynote at Oracle Open World conference in San Francisco, Monday, Nov. 12, 2007.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Washington's probe into Intel exposed just how "squishy" antitrust issues can be, Joe Nocera writes in the New York Times. What rival chipmaker AMD has called "predatory behavior" can also be seen as "good old-fashioned competition. What makes antitrust so maddening is that the answer depends as much on who is asking the question—and where—as it does on the evidence," Nocera writes.

The large discounts at issue can be considered predatory pricing, but they also benefit consumers—which makes such cases hard to win in America. It also explains why AMD has fared better in non-US courts. "The only form of discounting that is now viewed by the courts as proof of predatory behavior is pricing below cost," Nocera writes.