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Hynix appeals against EU DRAM tax

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Hynix has begun the process of appealing against the punitive import duty imposed by the European Union on its DRAM products earlier this year.

The South Korean memory maker has filed its appeal with the EU court, Reuters reports.

Following a report from the European Commission's antitrust organisation, the EU imposed in August a 34.8 per cent levy on all Hynix DRAM imports. Not long after, Hynix officially asked the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to overturn the EU decision.

The levy was imposed after an EC investigation upheld complaints made by German memory maker Infineon that a financial lifeline extended to Hynix by its creditor banks amounted to illegal government aid. Since some of those creditors were wholly or part owned by the South Korean government, the rescue package violated WTO regulations banning state aid for uncompetitive businesses.

Without the financial help, said Infineon, Hynix would have been unable to support itself.

Hynix has always said that its rescue package included financial help from organisations with no connection to the South Korean government, and therefore did not infringe WTO rules.

The US Department of Commerce demanded a similar levy on Hynix DRAM imports earlier this year, for the same reason. Hynix appealed to the US International Trade Commission, but in July the ITC allowed the 44.7 per cent duty to stand. Following the actual imposition of the US levy, Hynix launched a second appeal in September.

Meanwhile, the South Korean government has begun investigating Hynix. The Korea Deposit Insurance Corp. (KDIC) - the government's corporate liquidation agency - wants to see if past and present Hynix employees are responsible for the huge losses the company has suffered. ®

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