by CIO Staff

AMD Bargains for Docs. in Intel Antitrust Suit

May 31, 20063 mins

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has asked a Delaware judge to protect the trade secrets of PC vendors so they can testify in the company’s long-running antitrust lawsuit against Intel.

AMD, of Sunnyvale, Calif., filed a brief with its request Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Delaware.

The move is part of a June 2005 lawsuit in which AMD claims that Intel, of Santa Clara, Calif., uses overwhelming market share in the x86 microprocessor market to intimidate computer makers and retailers from buying AMD chips.

AMD has issued subpoenas for documents from 32 companies, including computer makers Hewlett-Packard and Dell, and retailers Best Buy and Circuit City.

Some of those companies refused to share the documents, saying that would expose trade secrets such as manufacturing processes and capacity.

To break that logjam, AMD and Intel negotiated a “protective order” on May 2 that could keep the most sensitive testimony secret. AMD has now offered additional concessions.

Intel filed a similar brief on Tuesday, agreeing with some of the new terms. But Intel is reluctant to change as much of the original deal, insisting it had already made its best compromise. The two companies plan to file a joint brief on Thursday that summarizes their positions.

If a judge approves it, the result would strike a balance between the subpoenaed companies’ rights to protect their secrets and the U.S. public’s right to enforce open competition in the marketplace, AMD said in a statement.

For example, the new order would grant confidentiality to testimony not only about microprocessors and chipsets, but also about PC and server manufacturing, and operating system and software design.

It would also allow time for each company to ask the court to seal any testimony before it is revealed in a courtroom trial.

In a separate part of this lawsuit, AMD filed a brief on Friday that refuted Intel’s May 3 motion to dismiss the charges involving PC vendors based outside the United States.

Intel said that U.S. antitrust laws do not have jurisdiction over its business deals with Japanese computer vendors Sony, Toshiba, NEC, Fujitsu and Hitachi, and the European vendor Fujitsu-Siemens Computers.

In response, AMD said that international boundaries are not relevant to 21st-century commerce, which consists of a “single, global market for x86 microprocessors.”

-Ben Ames, IDG News Service

For related news coverage, read Intel Requests Judge Set Limit in Intel Antitrust Suit.

Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.