updated 10:00 am EST, Thu November 12, 2009
AMD and Intel agree to stop disputes
(Updated with info from conference calls) AMD and Intel this morning unveiled a surprise deal to end all of their respective antitrust and patent cross-licensing disputes. The move ends AMD's lawsuits against Intel in both the US and Japan as well as its "regulatory complaints" worldwide. In exchange, Intel promises to pay AMD $1.25 billion and to abide by a new set of business practices. The two have also entered into a five-year cross-licensing deal for each other's technology.
The agreement doesn't immediately affect the progress of the New York antitrust case or $1.45 billion European fine but does remove one of the key arguments in these and two Japanese cases. AMD has often instigated or publicly supported these cases by accusing Intel of unfairly excluding AMD from the market through several alleged tactics, such as by price dumping, paying PC builders to limit or omit AMD in their lineups, and threatening firms with retaliation if they promote AMD systems.
The two firms are conducting back-to-back conference calls explaining the moves and should clarify some aspects of the deal soon.
Update: AMD says that the new business practices specifically ban Intel from making sales of its products dependent on excluding AMD or to offer inducements to keep AMD out. It will also stop Intel from writing code compilers and other code to artificially slow down AMD hardware.
The agreement also no longer requires that AMD treat its spin-off GlobalFoundries as a subsidiary and that the cross-licensing is broad enough to cover all technologies, not just the x86 processors and chipsets that have been at the heart of the disputes.