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Elpida, Nanya demand Hynix DRAM probes

Rivals pounce after US, EU impose import tarrifs

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Elpida has asked the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to investigate Hynix. So have four Taiwanese memory makers, including Nanya, who this week asked their government to probe the troubled South Korean memory maker.

All five companies have been spurred to action by the apparent success Infineon and Micron experienced in persuading their respective governments to impose punitive duties on imports of Hynix DRAM, Japanese paper the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported yesterday.

Like Micron and Infineon, Elpida, Nanya and co. claim that financial support offered to Hynix by its creditor banks was tantamount to state aid banned by the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The reason: some of the banks were part-owned or owned by the South Korean government.

That was sufficient to prompt investigations by the European Commission and the US Department of Commerce, which subsequently imposed 38 per cent and 45 per cent import duties on Hynix DRAM products. The EU voted to apply the levy last week, and Hynix lost its appeal against the US levy last month.

Elpida, Nanya and the others are likely to demand the imposition of similar tariffs by their respective governments. ®

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