FTC Asks Supreme Court to Re-Evaluate Rambus Antitrust Case

FTC Wants Supreme Court to Admit Anticompetitive Behaviour of Rambus

by Anton Shilov
11/27/2008 | 08:14 AM

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has requested the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in a case in which FTC accused memory-maker Rambus of anticompetitive behavior in deceiving a standards-setting body. Earlier this year the Court of Appeals did not find any violations made by Rambus and said that the technology developer was not guilty.

 

The has filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court, seeking to overturn a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (CADC) in Rambus’ favor. The CADC expressed "serious concerns" about the evidence on which the Commission relied for a number of its findings and held in particular that conduct by Rambus at a standards setting organization JEDEC did not injure competition. The FTC thinks otherwise.

In a unanimous decision in April of this year, the CADC determined the FTC failed to demonstrate that Rambus harmed competition. In March of this year, a Federal District Court jury found that Rambus did not engage in anticompetitive conduct and did not commit fraud, mislead or make misrepresentations to JEDEC.

"We are not surprised by the FTC's filing and we are hopeful that the Supreme Court will confirm the decision of the CADC," said Tom Lavelle, senior vice president and general counsel at Rambus. "We will file our response in the near future, and I note that the rulings of the FTC's administrative law judge, the CADC and a federal court jury in March of this year confirm that our position is the correct one."

The FTC brought antitrust 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 1600 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.