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Intel chiefs may have lost e-mail tied to AMD claim

March 13, 2007|From Bloomberg News

Intel Corp. Chairman Craig R. Barrett and Chief Executive Paul S. Otellini may have lost e-mail relevant to antitrust claims brought by rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc., a lawyer for AMD told a court official.

The Intel officers apparently were unaware that procedures weren't in place to preserve the correspondence, the lawyer told Vincent J. Poppiti, a special master appointed to investigate the missing e-mail.

Otellini "was under the impression" Intel's information technology department "was automatically backing up his e-mail so he did not need to retain them," Linda Smith, a lawyer for AMD, told Poppiti, according to a transcript her client provided of a conference that took place Wednesday in Wilmington, Del.

Intel, based in Santa Clara, Calif., and AMD are the two biggest makers of microprocessors for personal computers, a $32-billion-a-year industry.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AMD sued Intel in 2005, claiming it created a monopoly by coercing computer makers to buy its products.

Intel brought the missing e-mail messages to light March 5 in a letter to U.S. District Judge Joseph J. Farnan Jr. about inadvertent "document-retention lapses." Farnan assigned Poppiti to look into the issue.

Smith told Poppiti she was "very worried" about possible missing e-mail from at least 384 Intel employees that could bolster AMD's case. They include Barrett, Otellini, sales and marketing head Sean Maloney "and a number of other very critical guys," Smith said.

"There is no evidence whatsoever that any relevant e-mails or documents have been lost," said Chuck Mulloy, an Intel spokesman.

"This is a very complex problem and we are working very hard to resolve it."

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