AMD's battle with Intel to go west?
Californian plaintiffs want trial moved from Delaware
AMD vs Intel AMD's legal action against Intel in the US District Court of Delaware could up stumps and move to the US District of Northern California, if plaintiffs already engaged in proceedings against Intel have their way, court documents seen by The Register reveal.
The Delaware Court was this week notified that two Northern California plaintiffs, Michael Brauch and Andrew Meimes, have requested the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) order the transfer of four cases coming up before the Delaware Court to be transferred to Northern California and consolidate them and ten anti-Intel class actions already taking place there.
Among those four Delaware cases is AMD vs Intel and Intel KK - the latter is Intel's Japanese subsidiary. The others are all cases filed on 6 and 8 July 2005.
The ten Northern California were all filed after AMD's 27 June 2005 complaint, suggesting they, like the three extra Delaware cases, were filed in response to AMD's lead. The ten Northern California cases list "consumers who purchased Intel microprocessor computer chips" as plaintiffs - as do the three additional Delaware cases
According to the JPML request, all the extra cases "arise out of the same or similar illegal antitrust conduct and allege substantially similar claims... [and] a common core of factual allegations, namely, that Intel illegally maintained its monopoly power in the relevant microprocessor market and/or engaged in a combination and conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition in that market by fixing the prices and/or allocating markets for Intel chips solid in the United States and elsewhere, thus overcharging Original Equipment Manufacturer purchasers and consumers for prices paid for Intel chips during the relevant time period".
The request notes that none of the cases have heard responses from Intel, and that combining them would save considerable court time and costs. Why move to Northern California rather than Delaware? Because that Court has the majority of cases already.
No date was given for a decision on the motion to transfer. The JPML meets every two months. Its next convention takes place next week, on 28 July, where it will consider a host of motions to transfer, but not MDL-1707, the request concerning the AMD case and others. That means the request will not be heard until late September at the earliest, by which time Intel should have filed its response to AMD's complaint.
In the meantime, the parties have an opportunity to state their agreement to the move, or to tell the JPML they object to the change of jurisdiction and/or the move to consolidate the cases.
Separately, AMD subpoenaed more PC companies this week. Commands to attend the Delaware District Court, Judge Joseph J Farnan Jr presiding, were sent to Acer and NEC, the latter as both NEC USA and as NEC Computers.
The subpoenas, like those already sent to Fujitsu, Avnet, Ingram Micro, Supermicro, CompUSA, Fry's and Office Depot, demand the named companies retain in order that they may be produced in court, pretty much all documents relating the vendors' business dealings with Intel since January 2000. ®
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