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Supreme Court Rules Intel May Have To Give Papers To EU

The high court ruled that federal courts can grant discovery of documents "in a proceeding in a foreign or international tribunal, including criminal investigations conducted before formal accusation."
In an action that could force Intel to turn over documents to a European Union investigation, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that U.S. federal courts have the authority to compel such discovery.

In a decision announced Monday, the high court said federal courts can grant discovery of documents "in a proceeding in a foreign or international tribunal, including criminal investigations conducted before formal accusation." The European Union's Competition Directorate has re-instituted an earlier investigation into Intel at the prompting of Advanced Micro Devices Inc., an Intel competitor.

In the 7-1 opinion, written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the court stated: "We hold that the District Court had authority to entertain AMD's discovery request. ... We leave it to the courts below to assure an airing adequate to determine what, if any, assistance is appropriate."

Earlier this month, a spokeswoman for the EU's regulatory body indicated the investigation was in very early stages and the EU did not yet know whether it had a case against Intel.