The trial date for AMD’s federal antitrust lawsuit against Intel has been pushed back almost a year as both sides needed additional time to conduct interviews and take depositions from potential witnesses.
In a June 5 ruling, Special Master Vincent Poppiti and presiding Judge Joseph Farnan, who are both overseeing the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Delaware, pushed back the start of the trial from April 2009 to February 2010.
AMD originally filed the lawsuit in 2005.
At the heart of AMD’s case is its argument that Intel has abused its position in the x86 microprocessors market and has tried to stifle any competition through a variety of unfair practices that include offering deep discounts to vendors to remain exclusive partners, punishing those OEMs that considered using a second chip supplier and giving away products in order to maintain market share.
Intel’s attorneys have countered that the market is competitive and that AMD has never been able to deliver compelling enough products to keep pace with the needs of customers and an ever-changing market.
The decision comes on the same day Intel was fined $25 million by the Korean Fair Trade Commission for unfair practices against AMD and customers in South Korea.
Second Delay in a Lengthy Trial
This is the second major delay in the ongoing trial. In 2007, the case was delayed after Intel said that it had found that it had erased documents and e-mails related to the case. Now, with more than 250 potential witnesses who need to be interviewed, Poppiti and Farnan decided to delay the case yet again, which will drag it into its fifth year of litigation.
Michael Silverman, a spokesperson for AMD, wrote in an e-mail that the chip maker was pleased with Thursday’s decision “given [the] hardships that Intel’s document destruction has caused.” For its part, Intel has insisted that it did not delete any documents of importance. A spokesperson for Intel could not be immediately reached for comment on the decision.
An already complex case became even more so last month when AMD filed a 100-page description of its complaint against Intel and its lawyers announced they were ready to depose dozens of witnesses, which could include executives at companies such as Hewlett-Packard and Dell.
Intel has filed its own 100-page countercomplaint. Attorneys for both sides claim that the case already involves between 150 and 200 million documents.
For now, it remains difficult to determine who AMD will call as witnesses since its case summary and Intel’s counterargument remain heavily redacted. With the case now pushed off until 2010, the public will have to wait longer to see what evidence AMD believes it has against Intel.