Intel files trio of motions in N.Y. AG's case

John O'Brien May 31, 2011, 3:38pm


NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - The legal team for Intel Corp. recently filed three motions that seek to trim the antitrust lawsuit filed by the New York Attorney General's Office, though two of them were accompanied by sealed arguments.

Intel is fighting a lawsuit filed by now-Gov. Andrew Cuomo that alleges the company threatened and punished companies it viewed as working too closely with its competitors. His successor as attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, was recently told he could not file an amended complaint in the case.

Friday, the company filed two motions to dismiss and a motion for partial summary judgment. One of the motions asks to have all damages claims brought under the Donnelly Act (the state's antitrust law) on behalf of individual New York consumers.

"New York lacks authority to bring this treble damages claim on behalf of consumers," the motion says.

"First, the Donnelly Act does not authorize New York to bring damages claims on behalf of consumers; instead, it specifically limits the State to requests for penalties and injunctive relief when suing on behalf of its citizens.

"Second, New York cannot rely upon a parens patriae theory, because a sovereign has no parens patriae right to recover damages on behalf of particular individuals for harm done to those individuals."

Intel cut off payments made under the guise of "rebates" it was making to computer makers, Cuomo alleged. Intel also funded those makers' competitors and ended joint development ventures, he claimed.

Specific allegations made in the lawsuit include Intel paying $2 billion to Dell in 2006, threatening HP with the derailment of a server technology and paying IBM $130 million not to launch an AMD-based server product.

It also threatened to stop funding for an IBM/Intel joint project if IBM marketed AMD-based server products, Cuomo alleged.

Intel says the Donnelly Act only allows New York to seek damages for harms sustained by the state. The second motion to dismiss says the Donnelly act claims on behalf of non-state public entities that purchased computers lack constitutional and prudential standing. The supporting memorandum is sealed.

The motion for partial summary judgment says Sherman Act damages claims for microprocessor purchases that occurred before Nov. 4, 2005, have missed their statute of limitations, as have other damages claims for purchases that occurred before Nov. 4, 2006. The supporting memorandum is sealed.

Keker & Van Nest of San Francisco joined Intel's legal team in April.

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