Court denies AMD's request for sealed Intel evidence

A US District Court on Friday denied a motion filed by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) in which the chip maker sought to make sealed documents from a 1997 antitrust suit against rival Intel available for a European Commission (EC) inquiry into alleged anticompetitive behaviour by the company.

AMD filed a complaint with the EC in October 2000 in which it accused Intel of anticompetitive behaviour, including offering illegal rebates as a way of excluding competition and threatening motherboard manufacturers who showed support for AMD's Athlon chip when it was launched by AMD in 1999.

AMD then filed the motion seeking the documents with the US District Court in San Jose, California, in October.

"This is a disappointment, but not a setback," said AMD spokesman John Greenagel.

AMD believes there is expert testimony from the 1997 antitrust suit, filed by Intergraph Corp., that relates to allegations of anticompetitive practices by Intel, Greenagel said. AMD was not seeking to have the sealed testimony released to the public, only that it be released to the EC, he said.

The company has not decided whether it will appeal, as the San Jose court's memorandum explaining the ruling has not been issued yet, Greenagel said.

Intel could not immediately be reached for comment.