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Court throws out FTC's orders in Rambus suit

Posted: 24 Apr 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:overturned DC Court? orders FTC? charges anti-trust?

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has overturned the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) decisions regarding memory manufacturer Rambus Inc., and sent back the matter to FTC for further proceedings consistent with Court's opinion.

In its unanimous decision, the appellate court determined the FTC failed to demonstrate that Rambus inflicted any harm on competition. In its order, the Court stated "we hold, therefore, that the Commission failed to demonstrate that Rambus' conduct was exclusionary and thus to establish its claim that Rambus unlawfully monopolized the relevant markets." In addition, regarding the chance of further proceedings on remand, the Court expressed "serious concerns about the strength of the evidence relied on to support some of the Commission's crucial findings."

Rambus in March also scored a legal victory when a jury determined that Rambus acted properly while a member of the standard-setting organization Jedec during its participation in the early 1990s.

The FTC brought anti-trust charges against Rambus in 2002. A three-month trial was held in the spring of 2003 before Chief Administrative Law Judge Stephen McGuire, who issued his initial decision exonerating Rambus with over 1,600 findings of fact in its favor in early 2004. The FTC's own Complaint Counsel appealed the decision of the fact-finder to the full Commission, which reversed the ALJ and found Rambus liable for violating Section 2 of the Sherman Act. The DC Circuit Court's decision vacates the orders of the full Commission.

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