EC fines DRAM vendors €330m for price fixing

The European Commission has fined leading memory-chip makers, including Samsung Electronics and Infineon Technologies, more than €330 million for price fixing.
 
In its first settlement deal, the EC yesterday issued the fines claiming the firms had operated a cartel.
 
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 cut by 10% because the companies pleaded guilty to price fixing, said the WSJ.
 
Settlement talks began in February 2009, after 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 and Dell in Europe.
 
An admission of guilt means the companies cannot lodge an appeal with the commission.

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