Chip designer Rambus destroyed material evidence relevant to the US government's antitrust case against the company, the chief administrative law judge of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has ruled in a court action.
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But the judge denied an FTC motion for default judgment, which sought to skip the trial phase of the case and go straight to the punishment phase.
Rambus had argued that it routinely destroyed internal documents under a policy that is common among companies and not as a means to get rid of evidence in the case. The document destruction was key to the FTC motion to skip to the punishment phase.
The judge found that the evidence does not establish that the document retention program was, as the FTC argued, "nothing more than a sham." He ruled, however, that Rambus "acted with gross negligence ... and with reckless disregard of its obligations to preserve documents relevant to possible litigation."
Rambus makes RDRAM (Rambus DRAM), a type of computer memory used mostly for high-performance, computing-intensive applications.