Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) will be able to collect evidence about events outside the United States for an antitrust lawsuit against Intel.
AMD alleges Intel used its dominant position in the microprocessor business to pressure system makers not to use AMD chips in their products. Its suit, before Judge Joseph Farnan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, is scheduled to be heard beginning April 2009.
Intel had argued against allowing discovery, or the collection of evidence, for documents involving activities outside the United States. But it decided not to object to a Dec. 15 recommendation by Special Master Vincent Poppiti that foreign discovery should go forward, said Intel spokesman Chuck Molloy. A special master is a specialist appointed to overlook certain aspects of a suit.
On Wednesday, Intel told Judge Farnan in a letter that it wouldn’t fight Poppiti’s recommendation. The same day, Farnan ordered Intel to produce documents and other evidence sought in discovery that concern its business outside the United States. In a press release Thursday, AMD hailed the order as a major victory in its suit, which was filed in June 2005.
AMD alleges that Intel, which had about 80 percent of the global microprocessor market, tried to keep system makers from using AMD chips through actions such as threatening to withhold incentive payments.
Intel, based in Santa Clara, Calif., had argued it shouldn’t have to produce evidence about its actions outside the country because the court didn’t have jurisdiction there. AMD said those foreign actions could affect U.S. customers. In September, Judge Farnan asked Poppiti to make a recommendation on the discovery issue. It was issued Dec. 15, and Intel had until Wednesday to file an objection.
Although Intel is no longer fighting foreign discovery, it isn’t conceding that the evidence can be admitted in court, Molloy said. In his recommendation, Poppiti stated he wasn’t making a decision about whether the evidence could be used, Intel said in its letter to Judge Farnan.
Discovery has just begun in the case, Molloy said. The next scheduled event in the case is a hearing before Judge Farnan on Jan. 12.
By Stephen Lawson, IDG News Service (San Francisco Bureau)
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