DRAM price fixing

DRAM Price Fixing

DRAM price fixing

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In 2002, the United States Department of Justice, under the Sherman Antitrust Act, began a probe into the activities of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) manufacturers. US computer makers, including Dell and Gateway, claimed that inflated DRAM pricing was causing lost profits and hindering their effectiveness in the marketplace.

To date, five manufacturers have pleaded guilty to their involvement in an international price-fixing conspiracy including Hynix, Infineon, Micron Technology, Samsung, and Elpida.

"In December 2003, the Department charged Alfred P. Censullo, a Regional Sales Manager for Micron Technology Inc., with obstruction of justice in violation of 18 U.S.C. ยง 1503. Censullo pleaded guilty to the charge and admitted to having withheld and altered documents responsive to a grand jury subpoena served on Micron in June 2002."

On October 20, 2004, Infineon also pled guilty. The company was fined $160M for its involvement, then the third largest antitrust fine in US history. Hynix Semiconductor soon took the third position in April 2005 with a $185M criminal penalty after they also admitted guilt. In October 2005, Samsung entered their guilty plea in connection with the cartel.

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