EC fines DRAM vendors $400m for price fixing

Nicole McCormick
20 May 2010
Daily News

The European Commission has fined leading memory-chip makers, including Samsung Electronics and Infineon Technologies, more than $400 million for price fixing.

In its first settlement deal, the EC yesterday fined several DRAM vendors €331 million ($409.9 million) for cartel behavior.

Samsung and Infineon received the biggest fines of €145.7 million and €56.7 million respectively, while South Korea’s Hynix Semiconductor was slapped with a €51.5 million fine.

Japanese firms Elpida Memory, NEC Electronics, Hitachi, Toshiba and Mitsubishi Electric were also fined.

The fines were culled by 10% because the companies pleaded guilty to price fixing, said the WSJ.

The EC started settlement talks in February 2009, following US chip maker Micron Technology blowing the whistle on the cartel.

The EC said the cartel shared secret information between 1998 and 2002, which allowed them to co-ordinate prices for DRAM sold to Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Inc. in Europe.

An admission of guilt means the companies cannot lodge an appeal with the commission.

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