RealTime IT News

AMD Extends Intel Pursuit to Japan

AMD Japan filed two claims against Intel's Japanese subsidiary for violating Japan's antimonopoly act, just days after the company filed a suit in the U.S. against the top chipmaker for forcing customers to pick its chips.

It filed the suits against Intel K.K. in two separate Tokyo courts, said the No. 2 chipmaker in a statement. The suit in the Tokyo High Court seeks $50 million, stemming from the Japan Fair Trade Commission's (JFTC) findings that Intel K.K. breached the Antimonopoly Act.

The JFTC recommendation concluded that Intel K.K. interfered with AMD Japan's business by paying Japanese PC manufacturers NEC, Fujitsu, Toshiba, Sony and Hitachi to refuse to purchase AMD processors.

AMD Japan said Intel K.K.'s actions caused it to lose all of its sales to Toshiba, Sony and Hitachi, while sales to NEC and Fujitsu also fell precipitously. The suit in the Tokyo High Court follows Intel K.K.'s acceptance of the JFTC recommendation, meaning it does not plan to contest the ruling.

Above anything else, this could be the lynchpin for AMD's case in the United States, where AMD is looking to prove the same allegations in a federal court in Delaware.

In the U.S. case, AMD accused Intel of unlawfully maintaining a monopoly in the x86 microprocessor market by shunting customers away from AMD. AMD pinpointed 38 companies that have been victims of coercion by Intel, including Dell, Sony, Toshiba, Gateway and Hitachi.

Intel's lack of defense in the JFTC case could bode well for AMD in Delaware court, whose high-tech- and antitrust-savvy judges are expected to look at the JFTC case as a template for the new allegations. AMD's full complaint may be viewed here.

Intel CEO Paul Otellini broke the company's silence Wednesday by issuing a defense statement in response to AMD new suits.

"Intel has always respected the laws of the countries in which we operate," Otellini said. "We compete aggressively and fairly to deliver the best value to consumers. This will not change .... We unequivocally disagree with AMD claims and firmly believe this latest suit will be resolved favorably, like the others."

Meanwhile, AMD Japan filed a second suit in Tokyo District Court, seeking to recover an unspecified millions of dollars in damages for various anticompetitive acts in addition to what is covered in the scope of the JFTC finding.

In the second complaint, AMD Japan claims Intel ordered a Japanese PC manufacturer to remove computers using processors made by AMD from its product catalog and Web site. AMD Japan also said Intel pressured an AMD customer to cancel its vow to attend an AMD product launch.

"These illegal actions have restricted fair competition and narrowed the choices available to consumers in the computer market," said David Uze, AMD Japan's president and representative director, in a statement. "AMD Japan hopes to bring fair and open competition in the computer marketplace, allowing consumers to have a true choice."