Intel/AMD Antitrust Trial Date Set

The companies will face off in court in 2009.
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Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

and

Advanced Micro Devices

(AMD) - Get Report

have a date in Delaware: April 27, 2009.

That's when the antitrust trial between the two chipmakers is now schedule to kick off, following a status conference before U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Farnan on Wednesday.

AMD sued Intel in Delaware federal court in 2005, alleging that the microprocessor giant has consistently abused its monopoly position in the market to prevent PC vendors from using AMD chips. Legal squads for each company have been gathering hordes of documents from various PC industry players since then through subpoenas and depositions.

Wednesday's status conference follows

a ruling the day before in which Judge Farnan threw out portions of AMD's claims relating to its foreign conduct.

In the opinion, Judge Farnan concluded that the injuries AMD allege occurred in foreign markets and are thus outside the court's jurisdiction.

At Wednesday's conference, Judge Farnan left the door open for AMD to appeal his ruling on foreign commerce claims, according to representatives at AMD and Intel.

Intel spokesperson Chuck Mulloy said the company was pleased that the judge has agreed with its legal analysis and arguments about U.S. law, but said Intel would continue to conduct a vigorous defense for the remaining portions of the case.

"As we said many times before, we believe our business practices are both fair and lawful," Mulloy said.

Meanwhile, the ruling dismissing AMD's foreign commerce claims means it's unclear whether documents collected by AMD relating to foreign markets can be used in the remaining portion of the case -- a decision Judge Farnan apparently delegated to a special master at Wednesday's conference.

Chuck Diamond, AMD's lead outside counsel, told the court that the ability to gather foreign conduct evidence is necessary to determine the outcome of the case given that 70% of the market lies outside the U.S, according to AMD.

Depending on the outcome of the special master's decision, AMD said it may seek an appeal.

The spring 2009 trial date is later than the September 2008 date that AMD had lobbied the court for.

AMD Vice President of Legal Affairs Tom McCoy said the company was pleased by what he described as an "immovable" trial date.

"We believe that the firm trial date will move forward expeditiously the examination of Intel's illegal conduct."

Shares of Intel slipped one penny to $20.38 in extended trading. AMD shares were down 6 cents to $25.26 in extended trading.