Advanced Micro Devices Inc. filed another lawsuit against rival Intel Thursday, this one a $50 million antimonopoly suit that charges the industry's largest semiconductor company with paying large amounts of money to five PC makers there on the condition that they refuse to buy AMD processors.
The lawsuits filed in Tokyo High Court and the Tokyo District Court follow an antitrust suit AMD filed Monday against Intel in U.S. District Court. The action in Japan also follows a March 8 finding by the Japan Fair Trade Commission that Intel's Japanese subsidiary, Intel K.K., committed violations of that country's Antimonopoly Act.
According to AMD, Intel made payments to NEC, Fujitsu, Toshiba, Sony, and Hitachi that resulted in AMD losing all of its sales to Toshiba, Sony, and Hitachi, while sales to NEC and Fujitsu were reduced "precipitously."
The suit in Tokyo District Court seeks to recover millions of dollars in damages for various anticompetitive acts, in addition to what is covered by the Fair Trade Commission recommendation. In the complaint, AMD says Intel instructed a Japanese PC manufacturer to remove from its product catalog and Internet Web site all systems using processors made by AMD in exchange for a large amount of money.
AMD also claims Intel put pressure on an AMD customer that was scheduled to attend a new AMD product launch, and that the customer canceled its participation in the launch. In addition, the suits claim Intel interfered with a joint promotional event being held by AMD and another customer. It alleges that Intel bought all the PCs with AMD processors to be used in the promotion and replaced them with PCs using Intel processors, and then provided cash to the customer as an incentive to cooperate in the "last-minute" interference.
AMD says those acts are "only the tip of the iceberg" of Intel's worldwide coercion of customers.
Intel has denied that it has acted in an illegal fashion with its sales and marketing practices.