RealTime IT News

AMD Subpoenas Microsoft in Intel Lawsuit

AMD's high-profile antitrust case against Intel now includes a subpoena served on Microsoft.

According to the document, dated April 13 and filed with the U.S. District Court in Delaware, AMD requested from Microsoft information related to:

"…Microsoft's actual or planned participation in and support of any AMD product launch or promotion; or …Intel's reaction or response to Microsoft's actual or perceived collaboration with or support of AMD relating to advertisement or promotion of AMD, AMD microprocessors and/or computer systems containing AMD microprocessors …."

AMD is also seeking Microsoft's communications with both AMD and Intel relating to its development of software for 64-bit processors from both companies and the timing and schedule of the release of that software.

While AMD  has been willing almost 24 x 7 to talk about its claim that Intel  has engaged in anti-competitive, illegal monopolistic practices for years, the company said it would have no comment on the Microsoft subpoena. Microsoft was not immediately available to respond to a request for comment.

Intel had no comment either because it had not seen the subpoena yet. "You should ask AMD what it's trying to do, that's my only comment," Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy told internetnews.com.

Microsoft was among a list of companies, mainly PC makers, AMD had earlier said it would be requesting documents from as part of its complaint against Intel.

Microsoft sent internetnews.com the following statement in response to the subpoena:

"Microsoft is not a party to this lawsuit but we anticipate that both sides will be seeking documents and other evidence from Microsoft and many other participants in the PC industry. We will work with the parties in this case to respond to reasonable requests for documents and information."

AMD undoubtedly would prefer not to drag its most important business partner, Microsoft, into the spotlight on this case. On the other hand, it did issue the subpoena to the world's largest software company and that inevitably is going to attract attention. But analysts say AMD had no choice.

"The subpoena isn't a surprise. If AMD feels strongly that they have a case, they have to cover every base to prove it," Tim Bajarin, analyst with Creative Strategies told internetnews.com. "And there is no question AMD does believe it has a strong case, just as Intel believes it's done nothing wrong. I'm afraid this thing is going to drag on for years."

Microsoft's Windows operating system supports both AMD and Intel, though AMD beat Intel to the punch in releasing a 64-bit processor for PCs.

The thrust of AMD's charges against Intel is that it has acted as an illegal monopoly in providing its PC and channel partners discounts and marketing incentives as a reward for not buying AMD processors or not buying above a certain amount. Intel has denied the charges, and has generally not commented on the case in detail. But in one lengthy filing with the court last fall, Intel did provide a detailed rebuttal of AMD's charges saying most of AMD's market share shortfall is the result of its own incompetence and manufacturing problems.

The case, which is likely over a year away from going to trial, is being adjudicated by the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.