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Taiwan slaps punishment levies on DRAM firms

Prices not expected to rise

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Squeeze hard enough and the worm will surely turn. Taiwan, arch dumper (allegedly) has slapped punitive duties on five foreign DRAM makers found guilty of dumping chips on the island. The five, Micron, IBM, NEC, Samsung and Hyundai, will each have to pay a levy of 61.3 per cent on DRAM chips they sell on the island, according to the Taipei Times. In May this year, they were found guilty of shifting DRAM from US manufacturing operations into Taiwan at up to 75 per cent below cost between 1997 and the beginning of this year. It is not clear whether DRAM produced locally by these vendorsor whether DRAM made in Taiwan but sold for export is subject to the duties. Nor do we know how long the punishment will last. But, the levy will do no harm to Taiwan's home-grown DRAM industry. DRAM prices, currently enjoying a two-year high, are not expected to rise, as a result of the ban. Tit plays Tat Taiwan's indigenous PC makers will simply source from cheaper (Taiwanese?) players, so long as the levy lasts, But it will be a major irritation to the five guilty DRAM makers. Effectively, they have been hobbled in the world's most important centre for PC manufacture. But by far the worst is Micron. Check out the story link below and you'll see why Chinese eyes may be smiling at thatprospect. This is the first time Taiwan has imposed anti-dumping sanctions. But its DRAM maker have faced many dumping charges in the past, particularly from Micron's legal department, otherwise known as the US International Trade Commission. Recently, the ITC found several Taiwanese DRAM makers guilty of dumping chips in the States. Tariffs are expected next month. ® See related story Taiwanese sue Micron -- for dumping!

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