AMD to Intel: We'll come clean if you will
Yesterday in an interview with Betanews, Intel corporate spokesperson Chuck Mulloy requested that AMD lift its veil of secrecy regarding the redacted portion of a cross-licensing agreement between the two companies. The unseen portion, we're told and Mulloy believes, includes the list of technologies that AMD is currently licensing to Intel -- Mulloy himself has not seen that list.
It's the list of technologies whose licenses AMD is threatening to cancel if Intel goes through with its plan to cancel its part of the cross-licensing agreement.
This morning, AMD spokesperson Michael Silverman told Betanews that his company would be willing to agree to Intel's request, on one condition. It's a big condition.
"We would be willing to make the full details of the cross-license agreement public," said Silverman, "if Intel would in turn allow the outside world to see the evidence of its illegal business practices, which it has so far hidden behind the protective order in the US civil antitrust litigation."
Intel is claiming AMD has breached that agreement by granting spinoff company Global Foundries the rights and means to produce x86 CPUs using Intel's intellectual property. Intel has stated the agreement can only be cancelled in the event of a breach, and believes AMD cannot simply cancel its side simply to retaliate against Intel.
In multiple US courts, Intel has maintained that ongoing and concluded investigations against it, having been conducted in Europe and Korea, have no bearing on the company's conduct in the US. However, Intel has been somewhat successful of late in getting judges to agree with that assessment. Last year, for instance, AMD sought evidence from what Intel was preparing to turn over to the European Commission, in conjunction with the antitrust case there first brought against it by Intergraph. The US Supreme Court ruled that AMD may have the right to pursue this information, but only if a lower court reviewed its request and said yes.
A lower court reviewed its request, and said no. Last October, US District Judge James Ware ruled that AMD's request was "unduly intrusive and burdensome," adding that since the EC had decided some of the information it had received wasn't relevant to its own case, it probably wasn't relevant to any other case either.
AMD's Silverman pointed us to the Korean FTC's decision last June to impose fines upon Intel for anti-competitive behavior. Though the facts of that case are officially public, English-language translations of the decision only began appearing last January. Still, those translations are available to the outside world; what Intel's attorneys have managed to accomplish thus far is to maintain barriers between findings against it in foreign countries, and cases against it in the US.