AMD seeks Microsoft documents in Intel case

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) took another step forward in its antitrust suit against Intel Corp. by filing a subpoena in U.S. District Court in Delaware for documents held by Microsoft Corp.

AMD has charged that Intel uses its overwhelming 86 percent market share in the microprocessor market to intimidate computer makers and retailers from buying AMD chips by threatening to withhold illegal rebates.

To prove its case, AMD has been trying to obtain documents from 32 companies that do business with Intel, including computer makers like Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Inc., and retailers like Best Buy Co. Inc. and Circuit City.

Many of those companies agreed to supply documents when they received a subpoena, while others are fighting in court.

A Microsoft spokesperson said the company planned to comply.

"Microsoft is not a party to this lawsuit, but we anticipate that both sides will be seeking documents and other evidence from Microsoft and many other participants in the PC industry. We will work with the parties in this case to respond to reasonable requests for documents and information," said Microsoft spokeswoman Lauren Irving.

Intel was not immediately available to comment for this story.

According to court documents, AMD is seeking information relating to 64-bit microprocessors, product comparisons between Intel and AMD, and any discussion of marketing arrangements involving the three companies.

The subpoena sought the same kind of documents that AMD had already requested from other companies, said AMD spokesman Michael Silverman.

To date, AMD has subpoenaed a total of 32 companies in its lawsuit, which began in June 2005.

AMD alleges that Intel has maintained a monopoly in the x86 microprocessor market by using exclusionary business tactics that prevent its customers from dealing with AMD.

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