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AMD Files Another Unfair Business Complaint Vs. Intel

Advanced Micro Devices is filing another formal unfair business practice complaint against Intel -- this time in Germany.

AMD Spokesperson Michael Silverman said during an interview Thursday that AMD has evidence of written agreements between Intel and retailers to keep electronic devices made with AMD processors off store shelves.

AMD has made similar claims of anti-competitive practices in Asia, Europe and the United States. Investigators have raided Intel offices in several countries. Probes are still underway in Korea and the European Union, and a lawsuit is pending in a U.S. Federal District Court. The companies are engaged in another dispute in Japan.

Intel legal affairs spokesman Chuck Malloy said that all of the allegations are contained in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court.

"Despite all of AMD's activities, we have not been contacted by government authorities in Germany," he said. "However, if we are contacted, we will, as is our normal practice, cooperate with them should they have any questions. We have said time and again that we believe we have violated no laws. Our business practices are fair and lawful and we believe they are pro-competitive."

Germany's Federal Cartel Office told several media outlets this week that it received a complaint from an Intel competitor but the FCO would not identify the source or substance of the complaint. The FCO did not comment on the weight of the claim or reveal whether a formal investigation has begun.

The complaint follows exclusive Financial Times Deutschland reports claiming the publication obtained a letter from a retailer's purchasing department stating that the stores would not buy electronics with AMD processors. The report stated that documents in its possession indicated that Saturn Holding GmbH received millions of dollars in incentives. Silverman said AMD has similar evidence.

It is unclear if the latest reports from Germany cover the same ground as the complaints filed with E.U. authorities. E.U. laws prohibit companies from using their market dominating position and squeeze out competitors.

Silverman said that there is not a single AMD-based product in hundreds of Media Saturn Holding GmbH-owned stores in Europe. MSH, Germany's largest PC retailer, operates Media Markt, Media World and Saturn stores in 14 European countries. Media Markt, also named as a third party in the U.S. anti-trust complaint, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"The insidious part of it is that consumers have no idea that these deals are being struck behind the scenes and are denying them a choice of products," he said.

While most U.S. technology stocks fell Thursday, Intel's stock had risen 4 cents to $17.92 on news that the company is cutting up to 15,000 jobs.

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