US judge tosses Sun suit over memory chip

A US federal judge has tossed out an antitrust lawsuit filed against seven memory chip makers, but left the door open for the complaining customers to revive the case with more detailed price-fixing allegations, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report also quoted Sun Microsystems spokeswoman Kathy Engle as saying that the company would re-file the lawsuit.

Sun and Unisys sued the South Korea-based Hynix Semiconductor and six other companies September 1, accusing the DRAM chip makers of conspiring to charge artificially high prices from 1997 to 2002, the report said.

US District Judge Phyllis Hamilton ruled that the lawsuit needs to precisely detail and separate allegations of damages that occurred inside and outside the US, the report said.
Hamilton gave Unisys and Sun until May 4 to file an amended lawsuit, it added.

The Associated Press report also said Sun and Unisys also named in their lawsuit Taiwanese manufacturers Mosel Vitelic, Nanya Technology, and Winbond Electronics, Japan's Elpida Memory and Mitsubishi Electric, and Germany's Infineon Technologies.

The DRAM chips are used in an array of gadgets, including personal computers, printers, digital cameras, video recorders, video game equipment and cellular phones.

The US Justice Department has been investigating price-fixing allegation in the so-called DRAM market ever since prices soared 95% in less than two months in late 2001, the report further said.