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Judge Pares AMD's Suit Against Intel

September 28, 2006|From the Associated Press

A federal judge dismissed a major portion of Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s antitrust lawsuit against archrival Intel Corp., ruling that AMD cannot sue in the U.S. for Intel's alleged monopolistic tactics overseas.

The judge also set a trial date of April 27, 2009, for AMD to argue that Intel forced major customers into exclusive deals and offered secret rebates to undercut AMD in the market for microprocessors, which act as the brains of computers.

U.S. District Judge Joseph J. Farnan Jr. in Wilmington, Del., set the trial date Wednesday, a day after stripping a key component from AMD's lawsuit, which alleges anti-competitive practices in several countries including Britain, Germany and Japan.

On Tuesday, Farnan ruled that AMD failed to prove that Intel's alleged strong-arm tactics abroad had "direct, substantial and foreseeable effects" on AMD's operations in the U.S.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel, the world's largest computer chip maker, argued that AMD should not be able to sue in the U.S. for alleged lost sales of microprocessors that were made and sold in other countries. It also argued that part of AMD's case should be dismissed because AMD was seeking redress abroad for "foreign commerce claims."

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AMD, which filed its lawsuit in June 2005, maintains that the market for microprocessors is global and that Intel's conduct domestically and abroad are inextricably linked.

The ruling was a big win for Intel, but much of the case remains intact.

"We are pleased that the judge understood and agreed with our argument and analysis of the law," said Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy. "Nonetheless, we plan to vigorously defend ourselves on the remaining portions of this case."

AMD has not decided whether to appeal the ruling, company spokesman Michael Silverman said.

"Intel cannot escape antitrust scrutiny for its conduct," said Tom McCoy, AMD's executive vice president for legal affairs. "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."

Intel shares rose 43 cents to $20.39. AMD shares fell 67 cents to $25.32.

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