You could put an eye out with that gavel.
Intel Corporation has made peace with Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., the companies announced in IDENTICAL press releases today (here and here). The money part said:
[Blah blah blah,] and Intel will pay AMD $1.25 billion. Intel has also agreed to abide by a set of business practice provisions. As a result, AMD will drop all pending litigation including the case in U.S. District Court in Delaware and two cases pending in Japan. AMD will also withdraw all of its regulatory complaints worldwide. The agreement will be made public in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The pact won't end Intel's worries. As the NYT reported:
[T]he Intel-A.M.D. settlement does not end separate antitrust actions against Intel by government bodies in Europe, Asia and the United States.
In May, the European Union hit Intel with a record $1.45 billion fine, which the company is appealing. Last week, New York’s attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, filed a wide-ranging antitrust suit against Intel. The Federal Trade Commission, which oversees some antitrust issues in the United States, has also been mulling whether to open formal proceedings against the company.
The $1,250,000,000.00 payment looks to Blawgletter like serious money. Like Intel felt less sure of its position: We. Did. Nothing. Wrong. Oh yeah?
Does forking over $1.25 big ones matter in a practical way?
Yes. It surely won't dim the ardor of AG Cuomo, et al., for their government cases, but it does suggest that Intel will work hard to settle them, too. (Remember the tobacco companies, which caved everywhere after caving in Mississippi?) It also implies weakness and a board-level decision to make love, not war.
While we suspect that Intel has taken steps before now to placate its big chip buyers — Hewlett-Packard/Compaq, Dell, Gateway, IBM, Sony, Apple, eMachines, Acer, and Velocity, among others — woe for Intel if it hasn't done so convincingly.
Because the way to the courtroom looks clear.