AMD Out For Blood: Going After Intel In Japan

    July 2, 2005

Advance Micro Devices filed suit in Tokyo High Court against processor powerhouse Intel for some $50 million. The suit accuses Intel of paying massive amounts of moolah to Japanese computer companies to keep them from using AMD chips.

This follows the massive antitrust suit AMD filed against Intel this week in U.S. Federal Court in Delaware. It looks like AMD is out for blood after what AMD says are years of anticompetitive practices.

The suit accuses Intel of buying off Sony, Toshiba, Hitachi, NEC and Fujitsu. After large sums were paid, Sony, Toshiba, and Hitachi dropped AMD completely and NEC and Fujitsu sales dropped dramatically.

All this resulted in Japanese Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) ruling Intel had broken the law by handing out the cash. The JFTC ruled that Intel had violated the Antimonopoly Act back in March of this year.

“These illegal actions have restricted fair competition and narrowed the choices available to consumers in the computer market,” said David M. Uze, AMD Japan’s president and representative director. “In March of this year, the JFTC clearly found that Intel K.K. violated the law. AMD Japan hopes to bring fair and open competition in the computer marketplace, allowing consumers to have a true choice.”

“Intel has always respected the laws of the countries in which we operate,” Intel CEO Paul Otellini said in response to the U.S. lawsuit. “We compete aggressively and fairly to deliver the best value to consumers. This will not change.

These conclusions from the JFTC appear to be inline with many practices AMD accuses Intel of on a worldwide scale. In their original statement announcing the U.S. suit, they quoted former Compaq chief Michael Capellas as saying Intel had “a gun to his head” and forced company to drop AMD processors from their lineup by withholding critical products.

AMD is also pursuing antitrust actions in the EU as well. They look for the U.S. suit to take roughly 18 months, a similar time frame to the Microsoft antitrust suit. All this comes as Microsoft continues to settle civil litigation with other companies over its anti competitive practices.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.