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Samsung settles DRAM price-fixing lawsuit

Agrees to cough up $90m

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Samsung will pay $90m to bring to an end lawsuits brought against it by 41 US states as a result of its role in a worldwide DRAM price-fixing cartel. It will also aid the plaintiffs in ongoing legal action against its co-conspirators.

Samsung, Elpida, Hynix and Infineon were all found guilty by the US Department of Justice of conspiring to set memory prices between July 1999 and June 2002. Together they coughed up over $730m in fines, Samsung agreeing in October 2005 to pay $300m.

Civil lawsuits followed. In May 2006, Samsung, Hynix and Infineon agreed to pay $160m to settle a class-action brought against them by individuals who claimed they were financially harmed by the alleged (in this case) conspiracy - in the civil suit, the three firms admitted no wrongdoing.

In July 2006, 34 US states took action against the companies fingered by the DoJ. Other states joined the case at a later date. It's this combined body that Samsung has now reached an accord with, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said yesterday.

The states' lawsuit also names Micron, Infineon, Elpida and Hynix. Only Micron, the only US company claimed to have taken part in the conspiracy, avoided punitive fines from the DoJ, by admitting its involvement - or, rather, the involvement of some company executives - and agreeing to help the DoJ further its case against the other firms.

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