Grove, Palmer May Testify in FTC-Intel Trial

Intel chairman Andy Grove and Robert Palmer, who was CEO of the former Digital Equipment, are among the potential witnesses named in the US Federal Trade Commission's antitrust trial against Intel scheduled to start next month. The FTC list also includes executives from Micron Technology and Data General, neither of which were mentioned in the FTC's original complaint.

Intel chairman Andy Grove and Robert Palmer, who was chairman and chief executive of the former Digital Equipment, are among the potential witnesses named in the US Federal Trade Commission's antitrust trial against Intel scheduled to start next month.

Others that may be called include Craig Barrett, Intel's president and chief executive officer, and Rodney Schrock, president and CEO of Compaq Computer Corp.'s Alta Vista division, as well as executives from Compaq and Intel rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc., and a host of experts.

Altogether more than 50 people were named in witness lists filed with the court. Just because a name is on the list, however, doesn't mean that person will necessarily be called.

Intel's list reads like a who's who of the company's top brass. Also named are Paul Otellini, executive vice president and general manager of the Intel Architecture Business Group, Pat Gelsinger, vice president and general manager of the Platform Products Group, and other executives.

The FTC's list includes several Compaq executives, as well as executives from Micron Technology and Data General, neither of which were mentioned in the FTC's original complaint. The agency may also call Albert Yu, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Microprocessor Products Group, as a witness.

The FTC accuses Intel of using its dominant industry position to coerce three companies -- Intergraph, Compaq and Digital (which has since been acquired by Compaq) -- into licensing certain technology patents on Intel's terms. Intel did this, according to the FTC, by cutting off access to important information about its future products until the three firms yielded to Intel's terms. The result was to stifle competition in the market place, the FTC says.

Intel has countered that it was perfectly within its right to withhold intellectual property from the three firms -- particularly since they were each suing Intel at the time for alleged patent infringement. Further, the company denies having a monopoly in the microprocessor market, and says its actions didn't harm competition.

The trial is scheduled to begin March 9.

The FTC, in Washington, D.C., can be reached at http://www.ftc.gov/. Intel, in Santa Clara, California, can be reached at +1-408-987-8080 or at http://www.intel.com/.

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