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US DoJ SRAM probe turns to Sony

European Commission gets in on the act too

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Sony has been told by the US Department of Justice to provide information regarding its SRAM business, part of an investigation into an alleged attempt to fix prices. Separately, the probe took on a European dimension when it emerged European Commission officials are engaged in a similar investigation.

Sony said it had received a subpoena from the DoJ. To date, the DoJ has contacted Samsung, Cypress Semiconductor and Mitsubishi, which effectively quit the SRAM business in 2003 when it co-founded Renesas with Hitachi. Renesas took over both parents' memory operations.

Separately, the EC said anti-trust investigators raided the German premises of a number of SRAM manufacturers on 11 October. It confirmed it "has reason to believe that the companies concerned may have violated Article 81 of the EC Treaty, which prohibits practices such as price fixing".

The EC did not name the companies targeted in the raids and was quick to point out its actions should not be seen as proof that those concerned are indeed guilty of anti-competitive behaviour. ®

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