Memory makers hit by price-fixing claims

US investigation to lead to criminal charges, says paper

The DRAMurai - the world's leading memory makers - have been accused of running a price-fixing cartel

And, according to the Wall Street Journal yesterday, a US Justice Department investigation into the anti-trust claims is nearing its conclusion. The report claims that the DoJ has evidence that the major memory companies regularly met and discussed each others' pricing plans.

The report cites lawyers close to the case, who said that some companies are facing criminal charges, while others are seeking to trade admissions of guilt for reduced sentences, such as a fine.

The case centres on allegations that between the end of 2001 and mid-2002, Samsung, Hynix, Micron, Infineon and others covertly agreed to up prices. The alleged jump in prices followed a two-year slump in demand that drove most memory production lines into operating at a loss. ®