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Does Intel's Dominance Hurt Consumers?

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While chip makers AMD and Intel duke it out in the industry's latest antitrust battle, users are left with some questions. Whether achieved legally or illegally, has Intel's overwhelming domination of the chip market made PCs more or less expensive? And what effect, if any, will AMD's lawsuit have on what we pay for PCs in the future?

Industry players and experts disagree on the answers, but a surprising number think the overall effect of Intel's market dominance has been to lower costs, not raise them.

Competition from AMD is primarily responsible for driving the average desktop PC's plunge from $2000 to $500 in the last decade, says Tom McCoy, AMD's chief administrative officer and executive vice president of legal affairs. If Intel is forced to stop its monopolistic practices, PC prices will drop even faster than the usual 10 to 15 percent a year, he says.

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