Intel seeks to block part of AMD suit

Intel filed papers in U.S. District Court in Delaware Wednesday asking a judge to dismiss a portion of an antitrust lawsuit by AMD.

Intel filed a motion in the U.S. District Court in Delaware on Wednesday to dismiss part of an antitrust lawsuit by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).

AMD's original lawsuit claims that Intel uses its overwhelming market share in the x86 microprocessor market to intimidate computer makers and retailers from buying AMD chips. The suit says Intel illegally threatened to withhold rebates.

Intel has now asked a judge to dismiss part of that case because U.S. antitrust laws do not have jurisdiction over sales in Europe and Asia.

So Intel has asked the court to throw out the claim that its actions caused AMD to sell fewer chips to the Japanese computer vendors Sony, Toshiba, NEC, Fujitsu and Hitachi, and the European vendor Fujitsu-Siemens Computers.

Intel also said the suit should not consider AMD's claim of lost sales to retail chains such as Media Markt and Aldi in Germany, Time Computer in England and Conforma and Boulanger in France.

Although AMD has manufactured all its microprocessors in Dresden, Germany, since 2002, Intel said.

In response, AMD insisted its lawsuit was valid, because it deals with exclusionary conduct perpetrated by one U.S.-based company against another U.S.-based company. Regardless of where they occur, those actions harm consumers worldwide by raising prices and stifling innovation, said Tom McCoy in a statement. He is AMD's executive vice president for legal affairs and chief administrative officer.

"Intel's motion ignores one incontrovertible truth: the microprocessor marketplace is global and is dominated by a single monopoly firm," he said.

Even if a judge grants this Intel motion, the case will continue.

Part of AMD's original suit concerned its sale of chips to U.S. companies, so AMD could still win its request for Intel to pay fines and stop selling chips.

AMD could also win this case in foreign courts. It has filed a similar lawsuit in Japan, and lodged complaints with the European Commission, the Korean Fair Trade Commission and Japan Fair Trade Commission.

In the meantime, AMD will continue to gather evidence against Intel. AMD has demanded records from 32 computer makers and retailers, including a subpoena of Microsoft Corp. in April.

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Ben Ames

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