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Tuesday, 14 October 2008 06:26

U.S. DOJ clears ATI and Nvidia of anti-trust violations

Written by David Stellmack

Image

After 2-year investigation

On December 1, 2006 the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it was looking into the anticompetitive practices within the "graphics processing unit and cards" industry and issued subpoenas to Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Nvidia.

AMD was investigated primarily as a result of its acquisition of ATI Technologies in October 2006 for $5.4 billion. Oddly enough, their rival, Intel Corporation, was not named in the investigation. Two weeks after the ATI-AMD merger Nvidia launch its GeForce 8800 graphics card.

The claims of lack of competition between AMD and Nvidia were puzzling, as these two mega chipmakers are fierce competitors with each other and always have been. At the time the investigation was launched Nvidia and ATI were the two main powers in the graphics processing chip market, and their products were frequently similar and launched at rather close intervals.

On Monday, October 13th, AMD announced that the U.S. Department of Justice had informed AMD and ATI Technologies that it had closed its investigation into pricing and marketing practices of ATI Technologies in the sale of graphics processing units (“GPUs”). The DOJ informed AMD that it would not take any action against the company.

Nvidia has also confirmed that they have been notified by the DOJ that the investigation against them was similarly closed and that no action was taken.

Last modified on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 08:00

David Stellmack

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