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Copycat lawsuits target Intel

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On the heels of Advanced Micro Devices' antitrust litigation against Intel, the chip giant was hit Thursday with two copycat lawsuits.

In separate class actions filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, two owners of computers powered by Intel chips sought damages for what they claimed was the Santa Clara company's anti-competitive practices. Plaintiffs Ronald Konieczka of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Maria Prohias of Miami are represented by the same Los Angeles law firm, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro.

The plaintiffs allege they have been injured by paying more for PCs and other products which contain microprocessors due to Intel's alleged anti-competitive practices. They have asked the court for unspecified restitution.

On Monday, Sunnvayle-based AMD sued Intel in U.S. District Court in Delaware, contending the world's largest chip maker abuses its market power, engages in ``knee-capping'' tactics and offers illegal inducements to coerce computer makers into buying Intel's chips over AMD's.

Intel spokesman Tom Beermann said the class-action suits filed Thursday were not unexpected.

``These types of suits are fairly routine when a large antitrust case is filed,'' Beermann said. ``Intel is confident in its position, and we are firmly committed to successfully resolving these issues in court.''

The suits are nearly identical to the complaint AMD filed on Tuesday, with the same allegations, graphics and charts.

``The ambulance chasers are coming out,'' said Ashok Kumar, an analyst with Raymond James.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs weren't immediately available for comment.

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