AMD seeks damages against Intel

Advanced Micro Devices Inc.’s (AMD’s) Japanese subsidiary on Thursday filed claims against Intel Corp.’s Japanese subsidiary in Tokyo, seeking damages arising from alleged violations of Japan’s Antimonopoly Act.

AMD Japan is seeking damages of US$50 million in the Tokyo High Court and “millions of dollars in damages” in Tokyo District Court for “various anticompetitive acts” by Intel KK, AMD said in a statement.

Between the two suits, AMD is seeking $55 million damages in total.

The lawsuits are related to a March ruling by the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), which found that Intel had abused its monopoly power in the Japanese microprocessor market, substantially restraining competition. Intel disagreed with the findings, but pledged to refrain from several types of business practices.

Earlier this week, AMD filed a broad antitrust suit against Intel in the U.S., accusing Intel of using discriminatory financial payments and threats to stifle competition and maintain its dominance in the microprocessor market. Intel has disagreed with AMD’s claims.

Intel will not comment on the suits filed in Japan until it has received and reviewed them, said Masatoshi Mizuno a spokesman for Intel in Japan. Intel’s willingness to alter its business practices following the JFTC ruling is tantamount to an admission of guilt, argued Shun Yoshizawa, director of AMD Japan Ltd., at a news conference in Tokyo Thursday.

The $50 million it is seeking in Tokyo High Court is based on profits that AMD believes it would have earned from sales to NEC Corp., Fujitsu Ltd., Toshiba Corp., Sony Corp., and Hitachi Ltd. had it not been for Intel’s anticompetitive behavior, Yoshizawa said.

“The JFTC ruling was a very good decision and shows that there is a big problem. … It shows that the Japanese government is very concerned [about Intel],” Yoshizawa said.

The suit filed in Tokyo District Court seeks damages for various anticompetitive acts in addition to those covered by the JFTC ruling. For example, it alleges that Intel told Japanese PC makers to remove PCs using AMD processors from their catalogs and Web sites in exchange for large payments.

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