During a recent phone interview with CNet, Tom McCoy, AMD’s senior vice president of legal affairs discussed a few critical moments when its rivalry with Intel got particularly nasty. He believes that whenever AMD came up with new-generation technologies that could to pose a threat to Intel, the latter would just turn up the heat and break the law; citing the introduction of Athlon in 1999 as an example.
Back then, AMD's processor showed superior performance compared to the reigning champion, Pentium III, in pretty much every benchmark. McCoy claims the same happened in 2003 with the introduction of Opteron for the server market, whose use of an integrated memory controller and its focus on energy efficiency caught Intel off guard. Furthermore, he claims that AMD doesn't care about the $1.45 billion fine the European Commission slapped on Intel, but rather about the injunction on these kinds of practices that prevent their technology from getting to market.
Intel however believes the market already does a good job regulating itself, claiming that if Intel technology did not perform well and their product roadmap was not strong enough, customers would simply go elsewhere. Of course, AMD’s whole case was based on the fact that Intel paid or offered hidden rebates to manufacturers and retailers so that they only use their chips, leaving customers with nowhere else to go.