Intel and AMD have announced a settlement in their 4-year legal antitrust battle. As per the agreement, Intel will pay AMD $1.25 billion, an amount that’s likely far less than what they would have owed had Intel lost it’s case in court. Intel claims that it will not change its business practices because they were never illegal in the first place.
Hopefully, this agreement between private companies will send a signal to the Federal Trade Commission, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, and European Union regulators. Each has targeted Intel in the past, with the EU’s case against the company resulting in a fine of $1.5 billion. If two companies can agree that no unfair business practices are going on, it’s difficult to see where that leaves a federal case against them, especially considering that consumers don’t appear to have been negatively affected by the increasingly fast (and ever-cheaper) processors that have been coming to market in the past decade.
While it remains unclear what impact this agreement will have on Intel’s other legal troubles with both the federal government and European Union regulators, consumers can take heart knowing that this truce has the effect of freeing up vast resources for both companies that would have otherwise been wrapped up in legal costs. Intel and AMD can quit taking jabs at each other and get back to building newer, faster, cheaper processors.