Some Perspective on the Intel Settlement

Let me add on a few brief observations on the Intel settlement to Dan’s earlier comments, with which I largely agree.  There is a lot to say about the settlement: the predatory design aspects, Section 5, the (I found) quite odd self-congratulatory settlement press conference and webcast, and of course, what the settlement means for consumers.  I’m very interested in all of these issues, but perhaps none is more important than the last.   We cannot simply assume that the settlement equates to a victory for consumers.  Readers of this blog will be very familiar with the argument that merely counting cases, or agency activity, and of course settlements, are not reliable measures of the quality of agency performance or meaningful from a consumer welfare perspective.  But problems with this case make that warning especially appropriate here.  Thus, before delving into some first reactions based on language in the settlement over the days and maybe weeks to come, some perspective is in order.

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