For two decades Intel has been the thousand pound gorilla of the PC processor industry. Intel has consistently kept a market share of about 80% for many years with no sign of weakness.
Today, it is easy to say that Intel was able to do this on the strength of its products. Intel's processors are generally superior to those of AMD, and they have been for some time. In addition, Intel's chipsets are, with the exception of Intel's GPU weakness, very capable. And to top this core business off, Intel has been doing well in the new business of solid state hard drives.
But Intel has had its weaknesses. The K6 processors from AMD were extremely competitive for years, but this never resulted in a increase in market share for AMD. AMD claims this is because of Intel's shady dealings. Courts in several areas of the world, including the European Union, have agreed and already found Intel guilty under anti-trust laws and slapped Intel with large fines.
However, the FTC's new suit against Intel isn't just the same old bag. It incorporates both old accusations and new ones, and has broader implications for Intel than any other suit against the company thus far.