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.”

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