SAN FRANCISCO A U.S. District Court in Delaware has ordered Intel Corp. to produce documents and other evidence related to its business conduct outside of the U.S., according to a statement issued Thursday (Dec. 28) by Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD).
Calling the ruling a "significant legal victory," AMD (Sunnyvale, Calif.) said it believes the evidence will contain evidence of anticompetitive business practices that violate the Sherman Antitrust Act and "generally accepted anti-monopoly laws worldwide."
A spokesman for Intel downplayed the ruling Thursday, telling EE Times that the it was narrowly focused on whether or not a Sept. 26 ruling by the court dismissing foreign commerce claims brought by AMD. The spokesman said the ruling did not speak to the merits or admissibility of the evidence.
In an antitrust suit filed in 2005, AMD alleged that Intel (Santa Clara, Calif.) has been operating an unlawful monopoly in the x86 microprocessor market and has coerced computer makers, distributors, small system builders and retailers in their dealings with AMD.
U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Farnan in September dismissed some AMD foreign commerce claims against Intel. The judge ruled the claims fell outside the jurisdiction of U.S. law. The new ruling, issued Wednesday, paves the way for foreign commerce evidence to be entered into discovery.
The Intel spokesman said discovery in the case just began last month and is expected to run into the "hundreds of millions" of pages. Discovery is supposed to conclude in March, but may be extended, the spokesman said. The case is not scheduled to go to trial until April 2009, he added.
According to AMD, the ruling to compel Intel to produce the evidence resulted from Intel's decision to accept Special Master Vincent Poppiti's findings of Dec. 15, which recommended to Farnan that "as the undisputed geographic market is global, and approximately 68 percent of the total worldwide production of computers powered by x86 microprocessors are sold to non-U.S. customers evidence of foreign exclusionary conduct is essential for AMD to demonstrate" that Intel has violated U.S. antitrust laws. Farnan appointed Poppiti to preside over all discovery disputes in the case, AMD said.
"Intel's acquiescence to the Special Master's findings is a big win for AMD," said Thomas McCoy, AMD executive vice president of legal affairs and chief administrative officer, in a statement.
In a letter sent to Farnan Wednesday, Intel said it did not intend to file an objection with the court over Poppiti's Dec. 15 recommendation. "While Intel obviously had hoped for a different outcome regarding discovery, Intel of course will comply with the Special Master's decision and will respond to discovery as the Special Master directs," the letter read.
"Inasmuch as the Special Master determined that it was not appropriate for him to address Intel's substantive arguments concerning AMD's export commerce claim, Intel does wish to focus its attention on the facts underlying that claim, and would hope to raise any jurisdictional issues arising out of that discovery with the court at the
earliest appropriate opportunity," the letter stated.
The letter went on to say that Intel will plan to raise evidentiary issues with the court at a later date.
Poppiti's Dec. 15 recommendation that Intel be ordered to produce foreign discovery is available on AMD's Web site.