Advanced Micro Devices has suffered a significant setback in its antitrust case against rival chipmaker Intel, with a judge dismissing large portions of its case and deferring a trial until 2009.
Judge Joseph Farnan, a district judge in Delaware, granted a motion by Intel, the world’s biggest chipmaker, to dismiss claims of illegal monopolistic practices committed abroad, ruling they were outside US jurisdiction.
The claims are understood to form around half of AMD’s case against Intel and include allegations of anti-competitive practices in the UK, Germany, Taiwan and Japan. AMD was Wedmesday considering an appeal after a meeting between the judge and lawyers from both sides.
Judge Farnan told them he was extending document discovery until next April, and setting a trial date of April 27 2009.
AMD had been trying to get the case to trial by September 2008. “Notwithstanding the judge’s ruling ... Intel cannot escape antitrust scrutiny for its conduct ... wherever in the world it occurs,” said Tom McCoy, AMD’s executive vice president of legal affairs.
“As this US litigation is joined by global antitrust investigations, it is clear that Intel cannot escape the consequences of its illegal monopoly abuses.”
Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy commented: “We are pleased that the judge agreed with our motion and our legal arguments.”
AMD launched its case in the US in June last year. Previously, it had complained to the European Commission about Intel’s practices in 2000 and 2003, but the Commission’s most significant actions so far were raids on Intel offices in Europe last year. In March 2005, Japan’s Fair Trade Commission ruled that Intel had abused its monopoly power there, and last February, South Korea’s FTC raided Intel offices as part of a probe into anti-competitiveness allegations.
AMD’s allegations include Intel forcing major customers into exclusive or non-exclusive deals, making rebates and other incentives conditional on customers not buying from AMD and forcing PC makers to boycott AMD launches and promotions.
Intel denied the allegations and argued in its motion that AMD made its microprocessors in Germany and assembled them in Malaysia, Singapore and China.
It said AMD was seeking recovery of lost sales for foreign-made microprocessors to foreign countries – outside US jurisdiction.