NVIDIA, AMD in hot water for potential price fixing

Hoo boy, this could be a nasty one. You know how NVIDIA and AMD got slapped with those federal subpoenas a week ago? At the time, no one was sure what the DoJ was getting at, but apparently it wasn't just to look at the pretty graphics these firms churn out. Turns out NVIDIA, AMD and ATI have been accused of some antitrust shenanigans, with the DoJ alleging the firms "have engaged in a contract combination, trust or conspiracy, the effect of which was to raise the prices at which they sold graphics processing units and cards to artificially inflated levels." We're not so sure that the main argument -- that graphics card prices are almost always the same, reaching around $500 in the high end -- will hold a lot of water, given the specs pumping nature of the graphics card biz, but allegations of secret meetings between graphics card execs to discuss pricing could be a bit more damning. The DoJ is requesting documents as far back as 1990, so this could get messy. Intel has managed to steer clear of this whole cartel fiasco, thanks to its lack of a discrete graphics biz, but we're sure they're totally jealous right now -- perhaps they'll buy NVIDIA just to join in on the fun.

[Thanks, Mack S.]