Dell will not contest a subpoena from AMD asking for documents related to its purchases of processors from Intel over the past few years, and will preserve relevant e-mail from company leaders such as Kevin Rollins and Michael Dell, the company has confirmed.
Unlike other companies affected by AMD's lawsuit, including NEC and Dixons, Dell did not file any objections to AMD's request for documentation. The actions of the world's largest PC vendor with respect to processor purchasing are a key component of AMD's anti-trust case against Intel, because Dell has repeatedly declined to purchase processors from AMD despite the smaller chip company's recent success in the server market.
In June, AMD sued Intel claiming that Intel uses intimidation, threats and the selective distribution of cash rebates to ensure PC and server companies limit their use of AMD processors or exclude AMD altogether. Intel has denied any wrongdoing and has claimed that AMD is attempting to shield itself from competition.
Dell is one of over 30 companies that have received subpoenas from AMD, but Dell's participation in the case will be closely scrutinised. Dell, the worldwide leader in PC market share and one of the world's top four server vendors, does not offer AMD's processors on any of the PCs or servers.
In separate interviews in 2004 and earlier this year, Dell CEO Rollins said his company has avoided using AMD's processors in part because its purchasing costs would rise by introducing AMD's chips into its products. Although neither company will directly acknowledge it, many analysts and industry observers believe that Intel gives Dell significant discounts on processors and favorable distribution in exchange for remaining faithful to Intel.
Dell plans to make "good-faith efforts" to recover e-mail and documents from backup tapes and software images to comply with AMD's requests, it said in a court filing. However, the company reserves the right to object to future subpoenas.
In July, NEC filed several objections to its subpoena, claiming that the wording was vague and the process of obtaining and preserving the relevant documents would be expensive, among other things. Dixons took things a step further, strongly denying in a statement that Intel had any influence on its purchasing patterns.