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Adept III

is AMD 'least monopolisitic'?

I came across a poll in reddit/HPC

Which company has the most monopolistic policies?

the votes were:

Nvidia 233

Intel 201

AMD 19

12 Replies

Well, nVidia doesn't have to do anything to control the supply chain, aside from Fermi their products have usually been spot on and forced AMD to compete on price. AMD's really only had the upper hand 4 times in the last 15 years or so: the 9600XT, the X800, the HD 4000 series, and the HD 5000 series, and to a lesser extent the HD 7000 series which was more even than superior, all the other times nVidia has had higher performance but AMD had lower prices.

Intel, on the other hand, tries to control the game by paying OEMs to keep AMD out (found guilty, has yet to pay the fine), and even gives away mobile chips for free to keep AMD out of the market. Granted AMD is just now with Ryzen having the first good competitive product in 15 years, it's still something Intel did.

AMD can't be monopolistic, they don't have the entire product stack and, more importantly, the funds and public image to be. You ask the average person on the street Intel or AMD, they'll go with Intel every time, if for no other reason than the years of "Intel Inside" advertisements, especially the old Blue Man Group ads for Pentium III and IV.

Now, if you want to talk monopolistic, Apple is king of that castle.

I use Intel WiFi cards which are replaceable when the standard changes. A company in China called Fenvi makes board with the M.2 and stuffs an Intel WiFi card on it With some antenna this makes for a good WiFi device,

Right now I am using Intel AX200 which are but eventually Intel or somebody will support 6 GHz very soon now that the FCC has publicly announced availability rules.

Wave 2 802.11ax will move to 6 Ghz and adopt the additional channels available. Demand for more 160 MHz channels is high, especially in Manhattan etc. 

With the growth in fiber, it is not expensive to provide everybody with 10 gigabit internet. 10GBASE-ER is a long distance fiber standard that would take over from coaxial.


None of those companies falls under the category of Monopoly.

A company that has a Monopoly means that they control 75% or more of the Market. That is why there are US Laws to prevent a company from becoming a Monopoly.

75 percent
Determining if a Company Has a Monopoly
Courts will usually look at a company's market share for a particular product or service to see if a monopoly exists. If a company has a market share of greater than 75 percent, they will probably be considered a monopoly.
What is Monopoly Power Under the Sherman Act? - Business ...

What is Monopoly Power Under the Sherman Act? - Business ...


Intel has been at many times over 75 percent market share in the x86 chip space. 

This as recent as 2019 show them with 82%, well over the 75% definition of monopoly. 

Nvidia has also been above the 75% mark in recent years.

AMD Gains Significant GPU Market Share from NVIDIA


True, but Intel and Nvidia weren't able to control the prices of the market for GPUs and Processors. If they did then they would be considered to be a monopoly.

AMD then could have charged Intel or Nvidia under the Anti-Trust Sherman Act.

Under the Sherman Act monopoly power is considered the ability of a business to control a price within its relevant product market or its geographic market or to exclude a competitor from doing business within its relevant product market or geographic market.

But your charts did show that Intel is the most monopolistic type company when it comes to processors and Nvidia when it comes to GPUs.  But they aren't considered to be Monopolies since they can't control, singlehandedly the prices in their respective Market while excluding other companies from competing.


Not sure if you meant Intel CPUs not GPU's

Regardless Intel has been sued in the past here in the USA. More recently in the European Union.

Intel and antitrust: A brief history

FTC complaint against Intel latest in long list of events

By Network World staff and IDG News Service

Network World | DEC 16, 2009 12:00 AM PST

The Federal Trade Commission's antitrust lawsuit against Intel marks the latest development in one of several antitrust cases that have dogged the world's largest chip maker for years. Here's a rundown of Intel's brushes with antitrust investigators and lawsuits around the world since 1990:


Dec. 19: Microprocessor maker Cyrix filed an antitrust lawsuit against Intel in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Texas. "Intel has engaged in a campaign of unlawful exclusionary practices to protect its coprocessor monopoly from competition by Cyrix," the company said in a statement.


June 29: The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) informed Intel that it was investigating the company's business practices.

Aug. 20: Advanced Micro Devices brought a $2 billion antitrust lawsuit against Intel in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California, alleging that Intel "engaged in unlawful acts designed to secure and maintain a monopoly."

Dec. 19: U.S. District Court Judge James Ware dismissed part of AMD's antitrust lawsuit against Intel because a four-year statute of limitations had passed for some actions listed in AMD's complaint. AMD declared its intention to press forward with the lawsuit anyway.


May 28: Processor maker Chips and Technologies sued Intel for antitrust violations in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California. The claims were a response to a February 1992 patent lawsuit filed by Intel.


Feb. 4: Chips and Technologies agreed to dismiss its 1992 antitrust claims against Intel as part of a settlement to resolve a patent dispute between the two companies.

July 15: The FTC completed its investigation into Intel's business practices, saying no evidence was found to support charges of anticompetitive behavior.


Feb. 4: Cyrix dismissed its 1990 antitrust claims against Intel as part of a patent-dispute settlement between the two companies.


Jan. 11: AMD and Intel announced a broad legal settlement that ended several court cases between the two companies, including the 1991 antitrust lawsuit filed by AMD.


Aug. 27: The FTC requested additional information from Intel concerning its plans to acquire Chips and Technologies, citing antitrust laws. At the time, Chips and Technologies was a major supplier of graphics chips.

Sept. 25: The FTC began a second antitrust investigation into Intel's business practices. This investigation was conducted separately from the review of Intel's offer to acquire Chips and Technologies.


Jan. 13: The FTC decided not to seek an injunction against Intel's acquisition of Chips and Technologies but announced plans to "continue the investigation into the lawfulness of the acquisition."

April 23: The FTC ruled that an October 1997 legal settlement between Intel and Digital Equipment that included the sale of Digital Equipment's semiconductor division, including its Alpha processor, to Intel would violate U.S. antitrust law if completed. As a result, the FTC required Digital Equipment to offer licenses for its Alpha processor to both AMD and Samsung Electronics as part of the deal.

June 8: The FTC issued an antitrust ruling against Intel. The FTC found that Intel stopped providing important technical information about its products to Digital Equipment, Compaq Computer and Intergraph after the three companies took legal action against Intel to enforce microprocessor patents they held. Intel also threatened to stop selling microprocessors to those companies, the FTC said.


March 17: The FTC accepted a settlement with Intel over the 1998 antitrust ruling. The agreement required Intel to refrain from withholding technical information from customers involved in intellectual-property litigation with the company, but did not constitute an admission of guilt on the chip maker's part.


Sept. 26: The FTC ended its second investigation into Intel's business practices and decided to take no further action against the company.


April 8: The Fair Trade Commission of Japan (JFTC) raided the offices of Intel's Japanese subsidiary and several Japanese computer companies as part of an investigation into Intel's business practices.


March 8: JFTC ruled that Intel violated Japanese antitrust laws and hurt competition in the country's processor market.

March 31: Intel disputed the JFTC's findings, but did not contest them and agreed to refrain from certain business practices.

June 27: AMD filed an antitrust lawsuit against Intel in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. The lawsuit detailed allegations of anticompetitive behavior by Intel in the United States, Asia and Europe.

June 30: AMD sued Intel in the Tokyo High Court and the Tokyo District Court, seeking more than $50 million in damages arising from the chip maker's anticompetitive actions in Japan.

July 12: European Commission investigators raided the offices of Intel and PC manufacturers in several countries as part of an antitrust investigation.


Feb. 9: Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) officials raided Intel offices in South Korea.

July 17: AMD filed a complaint against Intel with Germany's Federal Cartel Office, claiming that a deal between Intel and retailer Media Markt blocked the sale of computers based on AMD processors at hundreds of retail outlets.

Sept. 11: European Commission antitrust officials announced plans to investigate the complaint filed in Germany by AMD against Intel and Media Markt.


July 27: The European Commission charged Intel with antitrust violations. It accused Intel of offering rebates to PC manufacturers that buy the majority of their processors from Intel, paying PC manufacturers to delay or cancel products based on AMD processors, and selling processors below cost when bidding against AMD for contracts with server makers.

Sept. 12: The KFTC issued preliminary antitrust charges against Intel while continuing its investigation into the company's business practices in South Korea.


Jan. 10: The New York State Attorney General launched an antitrust investigation of Intel. The chip maker was served with a subpoena seeking information on its pricing practices and "possible attempts to exclude competitors through market domination."

Feb. 12: European Commission investigators raided Intel's office in Munich. The offices of retailers Media Markt and DSG International were also raided by investigators.

June 6: The U.S. Federal Trade Commission served a subpoena to Intel, opening another antitrust investigation into the chip maker. Intel says it will work cooperatively with the FTC to provide information.

July 17: The European Commission leveled another set of antitrust charges against Intel, saying "that Intel has infringed rules on abuse of dominant position with the aim of excluding its main rival AMD from the x86 central processing units market."


May 13: The European Commission finds Intel guilty of antitrust violations in the PC microprocessor market and fines the company $1.44 billion, saying Intel's actions harmed millions of European consumers. The main antitrust abuses involved paying rebates to system manufacturers and to Europe's largest IT retailer, Media Markt, in order to shut out Intel's closest rival, AMD.

July 22: Intel appealed the $1.44 billion fine in a European court.

Nov. 4: New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against Intel in the U.S. District Court in Delaware, alleging that company engaged in a "systematic campaign" of illegal conduct to protect a monopoly. Cuomo alleged that Intel extracted exclusive agreements from large computer makers and threatened to punish those perceived to be working too closely with Intel competitors.

Nov. 12: Intel and AMD settled all antitrust litigation and patent cross-license disputes the companies had with each other. Intel agreed to pay AMD $1.25 billion, while agreeing to a set of business practice provisions and a five-year cross-licensing agreement. AMD agreed to drop all regulatory complaints and pending legal disputes against Intel, but the settlement does not prevent other organizations from pursuing legal action against Intel.

Dec. 16: U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed antitrust lawsuit against Intel, alleging that Intel has waged a "systematic campaign" to cut off rivals' access to the marketplace and prevent adoption of superior products produced by competitors.

"Intel has engaged in a deliberate campaign to hamstring competitive threats to its monopoly," Richard Feinstein, director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition, said in a statement. "It's been running roughshod over the principles of fair play and the laws protecting competition on the merits. The commission's action today seeks to remedy the damage that Intel has done to competition, innovation, and, ultimately, the American consumer."

Network World Senior Writer Jon Brodkin contributed to this report.

In 2008 Nvidia and ATI/AMD got sued for ant-trust for conspiring together, being the only major suppliers of GPU's for price fixing:

Nvidia GPU Antitrust Class Action Settled with $1.7 Million Fund 

AMD, Nvidia Conspire to Price Fixing; Sued | Tom's Hardware 

Then you have this big settlement outside of court from 2009

Intel to pay AMD $1.25 billion in antitrust settlement

Intel to pay AMD $1.25 billion in antitrust settlement - CNET 

One could also say that AMD and nVidia, as a duopoly in the GPU market, have conspired to price fix starting with the RX 5000 series, citing as evidence the fact that they doubled the prices on each product they replaced in the stack. This is in stark contrast to the competitive model they used for the last decade and the competitive model they are using for Ryzen, it is clearly anti-competitive especially since AMD has an inferior feature set and, if the copious number of complaint posts in every outlet are any indication, an inferior software set as well.

AMD couldn't charge Intel and nVidia with being a monopoly, outside the years old practice of Intel paying OEMs to keep AMD out which have already been settled, simply because AMD products were inferior to Intel and nVidia in at least one important metric (absolute performance, absolute power consumption, performance per watt, performance per dollar, feature support, etc...), and no court would require an OEM to offer an AMD Opteron or FX series option when Intel crushed them in every metric. As far as the GPU market went, price was the only thing keeping AMD in the game, and OEMs were likely easily able to beat any price AMD could give simply because of the number of trays they would order from nVidia and obtain volume discounts.

I definitely think with GPU prices both companies used the increase in prices the MINING BOOM brought to unjustifiably keep prices inflated once the boom was over. 


That's where the lawsuit against nVidia comes in. Also we know because of the bust there was a massive stockpile of GPUs on each side, nVidia just bought theirs back and obviously recycled them or destroyed them and wrote them off, we know this because of articles before the delayed RX 2000 series launch OEMs were forcing nVidia to buy back the GPUs so they wouldn't be stuck with them, while AMD continues to try to flog years old Polaris GPUs, using their low prices as a twisted justification for their insane RX 5000 series prices. Take the RX 550 2GB for example, when was the last time you saw a new model of GPU being released THREE YEARS after it first hit the market, possibly 4 years since it's the same GPU that's in the higher end RX 400 series? The last time I can think about it was when nVidia was just playing 9600/9800 alphabet soup for half a decade while AMD flailed about like a chicken with its head cut off with the X1000-HD 3000 series.

When Intel joins the GPU Market it should help bring down prices for both Nvidia and AMD. There will be more competition depending on what type of pricing strategy Intel will use.

As far as high pricing during the Mining Fad, That could be attributed to simple Supply and Demand. If the demand is high and supplies are short, prices are going to sky rocket. Thus when Miners were purchasing three or more GPUs within a short period of time, GPU supplies will run short or out. Thus both AMD & Nvidia had short supplies of GPUs on hand.

There is also that old adage,  "Charge whatever price Customers are willing to spend"  (something similar to that anyways).

In another words, Keep raising prices in which the Market will bear or continue to buy.  Which also concerns Supply and Demand economics. but it is a greedy way to increase profits at the expense of the Consumer.