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AMD welcomes a level playing field

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AMD was the first to welcome the latest EU procurement guidance published in the UK by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) this week.

The message from the guidelines is when it comes to buying microprocessors, keep it fair.

The latest EU Procurement Guidance covers "Non-discrimination in Technical Specification" and includes a range of guidelines chiefly aimed at ensuring that member countries set our the specifications in system under tender in sufficiently general terms so as to not favour one supplier over another.

But when it get down to talking about the microprocessor market, the guidelines become very specific on exactly what cannot be specified in tenders.

The requirements for microprocessors, it says, "must exclude any reference to brands (e.g., Intel, AMD), manufacturer-specific processor architectures, trademarks, technology-types or other potentially discriminatory descriptors."

Additionally, specifications must "exclude any reference to minimum processor clock-speeds" as well as a minimum front-side bus speed or minimum cache memory size as "such specifications do not directly relate to performance."

The guidance specifies that no mention of a microprocessors brand or its performance should be made.

The document also makes clear that the advice specific to microprocessors was introduced because "a number of recent EU infraction case have focused on the procurement of computers" and, it went on, "some UK procurements have also been examined requiring specific advice". The OGC would not comment on any recent cases.

Last month, Intel was targeted in a series of early-morning raids on behalf of European regulators, as they investigate claims of anti-competitive practices designed to hamper rivals such as AMD.

Giuliano Meroni, corporate vice-president for AMD in Europe, welcomed the latest EU Procurement Guidance. "Fair and open competition in tenders for the technology industry directly benefits taxpayers and governments," he said.


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