Why Intel's $1.25 billion AMD deal may not get Andrew Cuomo off its back

Intel, the world's largest microchip maker, said Thursday it has agreed to pay $1.25 billion to Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), its much smaller archrival, to settle an epic legal dispute with AMD that had its origins in the mid-'80s. Although Intel (INTC) itself admits the settlement doesn't require it to change its practices, the move may well be an olive branch directed at New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (pictured), who just last week launched a massive antitrust lawsuit against Intel. The chipmaker also continues to face regulatory scrutiny from Europe to Asia.

In Cuomo's case, the investigation may be as much about bolstering his political credentials as competition in the Empire State. "It's common political wisdom that Andrew Cuomo wants to be the governor of New York," says Steven Greenberg, a pollster at Siena College in Albany, N.Y.