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By | Ashlee Vance 18th May 2008 22:42

Intel chastises AMD for 'scorched earth' anti-trust attack

Multi-threaded deposition squadron needed

AMD vs Intel Intel continues to paint AMD as an annoying, over zealous whiner, as the two companies' anti-trust battle makes its protracted way to court.

At present, Intel and AMD are arguing over who should be interviewed for this case. AMD wants to depose 206 executives from Intel and then 280 more people from the chipmakers' customers. In its most recent filing issued last week, Intel portrays this number of interviews as excessive and not terribly helpful for the matters at hand. AMD is most concerned over Intel's pricing practices and discounts, and only a "few individuals" would be involved in such decisions, according to Intel.

Both sides have embraced rhetoric in their filings, as is the nature of such ordeals. And, Intel's latest filing injects a few more choice phrases into the mix.

For example, Intel describes AMD's demands as a "worldwide discovery crusade" and says AMD is engaged in a "scorched earth deposition plan."

Clearly, the Intel attorneys were feeling the vibe when they penned the latest filing.

"Given that AMD's allegations regarding Intel's 'technical exclusionary conduct' do not amount even to a molehill, AMD's demand for a mountain of depositions in this area should not be countenanced," Intel said in the filing.

See?

AMD continues to allege that Intel used its market dominance and deep pockets to keep some PC and server makers on the Intel-only track, while also encouraging other vendors who used AMD chips to scale back their plans for products based on those chips.

Intel argues that such claims are incorrect for a number of reasons.

"The 'payments' and 'bribes' turn out to be no more than discounts granted to win profitable sales, and are the types of discounts or payments that AMD itself routinely offers to customers," Intel said.

In addition, AMD did remarkably well in the server chip market when it had a dominant product, enjoying "phenomenal, explosive growth," even while Intel's alleged misconduct was said to be taking place.

Intel's latest filing does address these "bribery" charges on a case by case basis, looking at relationships with the likes of IBM, HP, Dell and Acer. Sadly, those sections of the filing are almost completely censored.

Later on in the filing, Intel dismisses AMD's claims of market dominance abuse in the compiler and standards setting fields. Intel argues that its compiler business is so small as to be near inconsequential and that there is no evidence of it wielding unfair amounts of power in the standards game.

Intel also went at AMD's charges of misconduct around a deal with Skype. AMD has said that machines based on Intel chips were able to do more with the VoIP application. Intel countered this by saying that it's a natural part of doing business for one vendor to reward another with some technical edges after receiving a substantial investment.

All told, Intel has produced about 100m pages of documents.

A judge is set to hold a hearing next month to figure out how the deposition festivities should proceed.

Those of you with a lot of time and 1.5MB to spare can read Intel's latest filing here in PDF. ®

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