Imagine how much cheaper computer prices would be if there wasn’t rampant price fixing in the DRAM memory markets! Excerpt:
Samsung Electronics Co. and its
Samsung’s fine is the second-largest criminal antitrust fine in
Resolving the investigation was "paramount" to Samsung, said Chris Goodhart, the company’s director of marketing communications. The settlement won’t affect Samsung’s day-to-day operations, she said in an e-mail statement.
"Samsung is strongly committed to fair competition and ethical practices and forbids anticompetitive behavior," Goodhart added.
The Justice Department filed a one-count felony charge against Samsung yesterday in
Computer makers affected by the price-fixing scheme included Dell Inc., the former Compaq Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., Apple Computer Inc., IBM and Gateway Inc., according to the Justice Department.
Under a plea agreement, which must be approved by the court, Samsung has agreed to cooperate with the DOJ in its continuing investigation of other DRAM producers, the agency said.
Samsung is charged with contributing to the conspiracy by communicating with competitors about the prices of DRAM to be sold to some customers and then agreeing to charge the agreed-upon prices, the DOJ said.
With yesterday’s announcement, three semiconductor companies and five people have been charged in the ongoing antitrust investigation into price fixing in the DRAM industry. So far, the DOJ has collected more than $646 million in fines.
In May 2005, South Korean manufacturer Hynix Semiconductor Inc. agreed to plead guilty and was sentenced to pay a $185 million fine. In October 2004, German manufacturer Infineon Technologies AG pleaded guilty and was sentenced to pay a $160 million fine.
In December 2004, four Infineon executives pleaded guilty to the DRAM price-fixing conspiracy. The four Infineon employees served prison terms ranging from four to six months, and each paid a $250,000 fine.