RealTime IT News

AMD Wins The Latest (Legal) Round

Intel and AMD have been running a two-pronged war, one product and one legal-related. Late last week, AMD won the latest legal tussle, although it's a relatively minor one in what's likely be a protracted struggle.

Last Friday, Vincent Poppiti, the court appointed Special Master who is in charge of overseeing discovery in the antitrust litigation case brought by AMD versus Intel, sided with AMD and recommended Intel be compelled to produce documents containing evidence of foreign misconduct.

Intel  has thus far declined to provide the documentation, claiming it was too much effort.

AMD in its suit has sought to include worldwide sales, claiming a global marketplace and that much of Intel's malfeasance has been overseas. Intel has argued that each country has its own antitrust laws and the scope of the charges should be limited to just U.S. sales.

If Judge Joseph A. Farnan, Jr. agrees with the decision – and there's a chance he will, given Poppiti was hired to make these kinds of calls in the first place – then Intel may be asked to produce evidence of what AMD  alleges to be "foreign misconduct."

However, it's not a slam dunk the judge will agree with Poppiti. In September he ruled in Intel's favor and decided that the antitrust case would be limited to just the U.S. market.

In his ruling, Poppiti determined that "the undisputed geographic market is global" with approximately 68% of the total worldwide production of computers powered by x86 microprocessors sold to non-U.S. customers. He further stated that the "evidence of foreign exclusionary conduct is essential for AMD to demonstrate that Intel's alleged exclusionary conduct was sufficiently material to the overall relevant market so as to violate U.S. antitrust laws."

AMD issued a statement on the ruling that said "We are encouraged that the Special Master recognizes the importance of obtaining all evidence of Intel's wrongdoing, regardless of where it occurs, to demonstrate the impact it has had on AMD's domestic and export business. We look forward to addressing this further in court and to Judge Farnan's final ruling."

Intel's comment was a little more muted. "We are still evaluating the Special Master's recommendation so we have not made a decision on what to do next. There are some additional steps, we need to decide if we want to file additional arguments on December 27th and then argue before the judge on January 12th," said Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy in a statement emailed to internetnews.com.

Intel is expected to file its opening brief by December 27 and both parties will meet in court on January 12, 2007. The Judge will issue his final ruling on this matter following the hearing.