Processor Wars Speed into Court

David Balto on about the most critical antitrust case involving a dominant firm: the challenges to Intel Corp.

Antitrust laws are the bulwark to a competitive marketplace. Where antitrust enforcement is effective, dominant firms cannot engage in exclusionary practices that dampen the ability of rivalry to emerge and keep the marketplace honest.

In the current economic downturn, antitrust enforcement becomes even more vital to economic growth. Anti-competitive conduct raises the cost of goods, deadens initiative and stifles the emergence of new competitors and new forms of competition. This dampens economic growth.

The most critical antitrust cases involving a dominant firm are the challenges to Intel Corp., the world’s leading microprocessor producer. Intel faces a private suit brought by its chief rival, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), and government actions or investigations by the state of New York, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and competition authorities in the European Union, Korea and Japan.

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