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Intel attempts to stymie AMD lawsuit

Wants Japanese and European claims dismissed

Intel this week filed a motion to dismiss part of an antitrust lawsuit by AMD in the US District Court in Delaware.

AMD's original lawsuit claims that Intel uses its overwhelming market share in the x86 microprocessor market to intimidate computer makers and retailers from buying AMD chips. The suit says Intel illegally threatened to withhold rebates.

Intel has now asked a judge to dismiss part of that case because US antitrust laws do not have jurisdiction over sales in Europe and Asia.

So Intel has asked the court to throw out the claim that its actions caused AMD to sell fewer chips to the Japanese computer vendors Sony, Toshiba, NEC, Fujitsu and Hitachi, and the European vendor Fujitsu-Siemens.

Intel also said the suit should not consider AMD's claim of lost sales to retail chains such as Media Markt and Aldi in Germany, Time Computer in the UK and Conforma and Boulanger in France.

Although AMD is based in Sunnyvale, California, the company has manufactured all its microprocessors in Dresden, Germany, since 2002, Intel said.

In response, AMD insisted its lawsuit was valid, because it deals with exclusionary conduct perpetrated by one US-based company against another US-based company. Regardless of where they occur, those actions harm consumers worldwide by raising prices and stifling innovation, said Tom McCoy in a statement. He is AMD's executive vice president for legal affairs and chief administrative officer.

"Intel's motion ignores one incontrovertible truth: the microprocessor marketplace is global and is dominated by a single monopoly firm," he said.

Even if a judge grants this Intel motion, the case will continue.

Part of AMD's original suit concerned its sale of chips to US companies, so AMD could still win its request for Intel to pay fines and stop selling chips.

AMD could also win this case in foreign courts. It has filed a similar lawsuit in Japan, and lodged complaints with the European Commission, the Korean Fair Trade Commission and Japan Fair Trade Commission.

In the meantime, AMD will continue to gather evidence against Intel. AMD has demanded records from 32 computer makers and retailers, including a subpoena of Microsoft in April.


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