AMD Says Court Ruling Gives It Another Victory Over Intel - InformationWeek

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12/16/2005
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AMD Says Court Ruling Gives It Another Victory Over Intel

A Tokyo court ruled that information collected in raids on Intel and computer makers must be handed over to AMD for use in its lawsuit against Intel.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. is claiming another victory in its battle against microprocessor rival Intel Corp., this time in court. The Tokyo District Court on Friday ruled that information collected by the Fair Trade Commission of Japan during its investigation of Intel must be disclosed for potential use in AMD's lawsuit against Intel in that country.

Intel responded Friday by accusing AMD of "mischaracterizing and exaggerating" the impact of the court's ruling.

The material at the heart of the Tokyo court ruling was obtained in searches of Intel offices in Japan as well as those of major Japanese computer equipment manufacturers in April 2004. In March, the trade commission found that Intel had violated portions of Japan's anti-monopoly act. Intel has said it did not fight the commission ruling because it did not want to further hinder its efforts to sell microprocessors in the market.

AMD says it plans to use information gathered in those searches as part of the lawsuit it filed against Intel in Tokyo in June. AMD has also filed a similar, but separate, lawsuit in federal court in the United States.

"Once again AMD has mischaracterized and exaggerated the impact of a procedural ruling which does not in any way address the merits of AMD's claim," says Chuck Molloy, a corporate spokesman for legal affairs at Intel. "Our only interest in respect to the documents is to ensure that Intel and our customers' confidential information and trade secrets are protected AMD's claims of [Intel] hiding materials are absurd."

Malloy says Intel is not fighting the JFTC ruling earlier this year. "We accepted the remedy but we did not accept the assertion of facts or the interpretation of law. Rather than subject our customers to a prolonged legal battle with the JFTC, we elected to take the remedy and continue to do business and continue to compete."

That "remedy" has required Intel to take steps to ensure that the alleged illegal competitive practices would not happen again, and to implement new training procedures for its staff in Japan.

Thomas McCoy, executive VP of legal affairs and chief administrative officer for AMD, said in a statement that the Tokyo court ruling "sends the message that the truth about Intel's illegal monopoly abuse will soon see the light of day. ... Intel cannot hope to hide the truth about its anti-competitive business practices any longer."

AMD alleges in its lawsuits in the United States and Japan that Intel has used anti-competitive practices such as illegal payments and coercion to force computer manufacturers to not use AMD processors and retailers to not sell systems that use AMD processor, or to significantly limit their use and sale.

AMD says that Intel illegally tried to limit sale of AMD processors by imposing unfair conditions on five large Japanese equipment manufactures, Fujitsu Ltd., Hitachi Ltd., NEC Corp., Sony Corp., and Toshiba Corp., which together represent more than three-fourths of all microprocessor purchases in Japan.

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