The AMD-Intel antitrust case exploded in controversy this week when Intel
admitted it is missing an unknown number of e-mails and documents that AMD requested.
Despite what Intel said was a massive effort to comply with AMD’s requests for documents, including tape back ups of over a 1,000 of its employees’ correspondence, the chip giant said there were “inadvertent mistakes in the implementation” of its preservation process.
For example, Intel said, some employees complied with the request to save their e-mails to a backup drive, but did not save their ‘Sent’ e-mail folders, only incoming. As a result, those sent e-mails were purged as part of a regular maintenance program. The company also said a “a few employees” didn’t follow the program, because they thought the IT department was automatically saving their e-mails.
and Intel legal representatives are scheduled to meet with Judge Joseph Farnum of the U.S. District Court of Delaware on Wednesday to discuss the matter as part of a planned case status conference.
In its statement to the court, Intel also said that it is reviewing its document-retention efforts related to terminated employees, as there “may be some lapses.” Intel said it made the admission proactively to the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware hearing the case.
“We think the documents that are missing represent a small percentage of the tens of millions of pages of documents in the case,” Intel spokesman Tom Beerman told internetnews.com. “In the end we don’t believe the lapse in our document retention program will have an impact on the case.”
An AMD spokesman said the company would not be available for comment until after Wednesday’s court heairng. But in a statement sent to the court, AMD said in part:
“Through what appears to be a combination of gross communication failures, an ill-conceived plan of document retention and lackluster oversight by outside counsel, Intel has apparently allowed evidence to be destroyed …. Intel executives at the highest level failed to receive or to heed instructions essential for the preservation of their records, and Intel counsel failed to institute and police a reliable backup system as a failsafe against human error.”
Intel pointed to the complexity of the document requests and maintained in its statement to the court that what it has retained “should span the full breadth and provide a comprehensive picture of Intel’s business activities that might be relevant in the lawsuit, which involves an evaluation of the competition between Intel and AMD and the terms and conditions of the parties’ sales, which is evidenced in multiple ways from multiple sources.”
AMD is accusing Intel of abusing a monopoly position in microprocessors to limit its smaller rival’s growth. AMD’s accusations have, at times, put Intel on the defensive and put the spotlight on its use of marketing funds to favored customers such as Dell
For years, Dell only used Intel chips, becoming the last major supplier of x86-compatible systems to add AMD last year. AMD is also in the process of retrieving and reviewing documents from Intel customers, such as Dell and HP.
The case is not expected to go to trial until at least next year.