DRAM cartel fined € 331 million

    A couple of years after officials from US government agencies condemned and fined DRAM manufacturers for artificially fixing prices, the European Union saw an opportunity to slightly fill the empty treasury in continuing litigation with companies that have historically either pleaded guilty or were found guilty of a beneficial conspiracy .

    The European Commission fined 10 major chip manufacturers in the amount of € 331.3 million with the official reason “cartel conspiracy to artificially fix prices and transmit important information to competitors from 1998 to 2002.”

    The case began back in 2001, when large OEMs like Dell and Apple began to complain to the authorities about a mysterious jump in prices, even despite the excessive production of DRAM chips. The US Department of Justice became interested in the situation only in 2004, when the German Infineon snapped a fine of $ 160 million after "frank recognition." The next in line were Hynix and Samsung, the trial with which lasted throughout 2005, finally ended in early 2006, when Elpida was ordered to pay $ 84 million.

    Of course, the methods of the European Union are somewhat different from the approach of their overseas colleagues. 10 companies were not called to court, but to the audience to discuss the problem ... and it was even more effective. I did not have to hire expensive investigators and lawyers, as Micron surrendered all his accomplices, for which he received a 100% discount on the fine (according to European law, the first "snitch" in the cartel receives immunity). The remaining companies involved in the case will pay serious amounts starting from € 1.8 million in the case of Nanya, up to € 145.7 million in the case of Samsung.

    via ArsTechnica

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