September 27, 2009

Intel Partners See No Impact In U.S. From EU's Antitrust Fine

The EU ruling and subsequent fine is a bunch of "hooey," said Todd Swank, vice president of marketing at Northern Computer Technologies (Nor-Tech), a Burnsville, Minn.-based custom systems builder.

"I think the EU is hunting for ways to socialize business," Swank said.

In the U.S., rebate programs and similar promotions are pretty straightforward, Swank said.

"AMD (NYSE:AMD) and Intel have similar programs," he said. "Both give rebates to go after specific products. But to give money to not do something -- I've been doing marketing in the U.S. for 10 years, and I've not seen anything like that."

Swank said that it is possible for Intel to provide rebates to a company like Hewlett-Packard on the condition that the vendor purchases 95 percent of its processor from Intel. But that is very hard to do in the channel.

"There are too many players in this market," Swank said. "It would be hard to keep a lid on it for any time."

Back during the time that the alleged violations occurred, the only way for system builders to compete against the OEMs was to engage with AMD, Swank said.

"Back in the days, the only way to compete was to offer AMD as an alternative, as it was the only vendor with features like 64-bit processing," he said. "There was a lot we could say to position ourselves against HP (NYSE:HPQ) and Dell (NSDQ:Dell) who at the time did little business with AMD."

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Intel Partners See No Impact In U.S. From EU's Antitrust Fine, Channelweb, Sept 21, 2009