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Judge Dismisses Much Of AMD's Antitrust Lawsuit Against Intel

A federal judge ruled that claims that Intel engaged in misconduct overseas fell outside the jurisdiction of U.S. law.

MANHASSET, N.Y. — In a possible setback for AMD, a U.S. District Court judge in Delaware has dismissed foreign commerce claims in the company's antitrust lawsuit against Intel Corp. The judge ruled the claims fell outside the jurisdiction of U.S. law.

Judge Joseph Farnan of the U.S. District Court in Delaware granted Intel's earlier request to dismiss portions of the antitrust suit AMD filed against Intel in June 2005. Intel filed the motion in May, asking that the claims of foreign misconduct be dismissed because they are outside federal law jurisdiction.

In court documents, Intel had argued AMD claims it was injured because its sales offices in Europe and Asia failed to sell more of its German-manufactured microprocessors to foreign customers.

"AMD cannot invoke the U.S. antitrust laws to attempt to address these alleged harms that occurred (if at all) outside the United States," Intel said.

In the ruling, Judge Farnan agreed with Intel, stating "AMD has not demonstrated that the alleged foreign conduct of Intel has direct, substantial and foreseeable effects in the United States which gives rise to its claim."

In the antitrust suit, AMD (Sunnyvale, Calif.) alleged that Intel (Santa Clara, Calif.) has been operating an unlawful monopoly in the x86 microprocessor market and has coerced computer makers, distributors, small system builders and retailers in their dealings with AMD.

Responding to the Delaware judge's decision, AMD spokesman Micheal Silverman said in a statement, "Notwithstanding the judge's ruling today, Intel cannot escape antitrust scrutiny for its conduct...wherever in the world it occurs. As this U.S. litigation is joined by global antitrust investigations, it is clear that Intel cannot escape the consequences of its illegal monopoly abuses."

In a brief interview with EE Times, Silverman said the case is still in its early stages, with a number of companies likely to be asked in coming months to submit evidence that could be material to the case.

"It remains to be seen whether this is a setback," Silverman said. "There are still active investigations outside the U.S."

On Wednesday (Sept. 27) afternoon, the judge set the date of the trial for April 27, 2009.

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