Gartner: Don’t let antitrust suit influence your decisions

Gartner is urging users not to let their buying decisions be influenced by the antitrust suit AMD has filed against Intel. While the lawsuit is guaranteed to attract a lot of media attention, the analyst firm believes it will have no immediate impact to either company’s operations.

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By  Caroline Denslow Published  July 17, 2005

Gartner is urging users not to let their buying decisions be influenced by the antitrust suit AMD has filed against Intel. While the lawsuit is guaranteed to attract a lot of media attention, the analyst firm believes it will have no immediate impact to either company’s operations. “Do not make any changes to system procurement plans because of AMD’s lawsuit,”said Gartner analyst Martin Reynolds. “This case will generate a great deal of media attention, but will not affect the IT industry in any material way, because neither AMD nor Intel will allow itself to be distracted from its operations.” A similar view was shared by IDC, which declared that there would be no short-term impact on the industry: “Gamers and power users who have been buying Opteron- and FX-based high-end systems will continue to buy them,” IDC said in a statement. “IT departments that have turned to Opteron servers will not change their buying habits. Consumers will still find both AMD- and Intel-based machines in retail, and many will hardly be aware of which one they are buying." “IT departments will continue to bet on Intel-based desktops. A few smaller business customers will experiment with AMD-based notebooks. Although the suit will raise awareness of AMD, most buyers’ behaviour will be unaffected by the longer-term implications of the suit,” it continued. According to IDC, since PC vendors have already established their product roadmaps, and procurement plans for the second half of 2005 have been made, it is unlikely it will change their processor position. “Through the end of 2006, there may be slight market changes as a result of the pending suit. Intel is unlikely to change its business practices, as doing so would be a tacit admission of guilt. It will continue to introduce competitive technology. OEMs may use the suit as air cover to try to introduce some AMD products to commercial customers,” IDC added. At the moment, AMD is waiting for companies, which it served notices to, to respond to the subpoenas. AMD has earlier sent notices to 32 companies, including PC vendors, microchip distributors and computer retailers. So far, 14 have responded and nine expressed willingness to work with AMD. Among those that agreed to cooperate include Acer, Lenovo, NEC, Sony, Sun and Tech Data. Dell has acknowledged AMD’s letters of request and promised to respond, while Toshiba, which also acknowledged receipt of the notice, refused to negotiate at all. “There are a lot of companies that we think have been coerced by Intel to do things that we do not consider to be legal,” said Jens Drews, director of government relations, AMD Middle East and Africa. “We are now working with a number of these companies to make sure that the documents will be preserved to prove our allegations,” Drews said. “The legal issue is running its course now. We can expect some companies to cooperate [and] others to be more reluctant. But I think in the end we will have a very strong case,” he added. According to IDC, these third-party documents are crucial to AMD’s case, as little evidence exists at the moment. “Although, for its case against Intel, AMD cites a fair amount of evidence, much of it is circumstantial,” said Roger Kay, an IDC senior analyst. However, Drews said they are confident that AMD have a strong chance of winning. “We think we have a very strong case. If you look at the complaint it is very detailed. It is researched and we stand by it. We are convinced that we can make the point in court when it goes to court,” he added.

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