Samsung agrees to help in US chip probe

South Korea's Samsung joined competitors in the consumer electronics memory chip industry under a growing cloud of private litigation and US and Canadian government investigations, an Associated Press report said.

The company announced that it would cooperate with a US government probe into possible anticompetitive practices in the NAND flash memory chip market, the report said.

But it would not say whether subsidiary Samsung Semiconductor is in fact a subject of the probe or has been subpoenaed by the Justice Department, the Associated Press report said.

'Samsung Semiconductor will cooperate fully with the ongoing Department of Justice Antitrust Division investigation of the NAND flash memory market,' Samsung Electronics, quoted by the report in a statement, said.

'Samsung is strongly committed to fair competitive business practices and forbids anticompetitive behavior,' the company statement said.

SanDisk of the US said that it and CEO Eli Harari had received grand jury subpoenas in a Department of Justice investigation into possible antitrust violations in the NAND industry, the report said.

SanDisk also said in a regulatory filing it also has been sued, along with 23 other companies, in a consumer class action case alleging a conspiracy to fix prices of flash memory, it added.

Japan's Jiji Press news agency said Saturday in a dispatch from New York, citing US media reports, that Toshiba was a target of the US probe.

Hynix Semiconductor, the world's third-largest NAND flash manufacturer, said it had not been contacted by U.S. authorities about the investigation, the Associated Press further said.