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Korea may probe Samsung, Hynix price-fix claims

Local Fair Trade Commission ponders move

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The South Korean government may be about to investigate claims that local memory makers Samsung and Hynix conspired to fix memory prices, a senior official from the nation's Fair Trade Commission has suggested.

The move follows the announcement this week that four Hynix executives have agreed to plead guilty to US Department of Justice charges that they colluded with others to fix DRAM prices in the US.

The DoJ has fined Samsung and Hynix $300m and $185m, respectively, for their parts in the cartel. Both companies have declared their guilt.

The question is, has there been an impact on the South Korean market, Hur Seon, secretary general of the Fair Trade Commission, said on a local radio show this week, Joong Ang Daily reports.

"If the case of price fixing by Hynix and Samsung Electronics affects the domestic market, they must be investigated," he said.

"We have to review the issue, but it is probable that the collusion between the two has affected the market."

The FTC is already investigating an alleged deal struck between Samsung and Apple to supply the iPod maker with NAND Flash chips for less than Samsung sells them to local customers. ®

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