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Rambus tumbles in antitrust reversal

Micron and Hynix win Calif. court case

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Rambus, the litigious memory tech firm, has taken a beating in the stock markets after losing a key case against Micron over price fixing and conspiracy charges.

Rambus had accused Micron and Hynix Semiconductor of fixing the memory market to keep Rambus technology priced out, and it was demanding nearly $4bn in direct damages, which under California law could be tripled before punitive damages were added. At close of day trading Rambus’ stock was down around 60 per cent on the verdict, while Micron’s rose by almost 25 per cent.

“We are disappointed with this verdict as we believe strongly in our case,” said Harold Hughes, Rambus CEO, in a statement. “We do not agree with several rulings that affected how this case was presented to the jury and we are reviewing our options for appeal.”

The seven-year court case came to its current conclusion in San Francisco County Superior Court after a three-month trial. The 12 jurors spent another eight weeks deliberating before deciding on a verdict by a vote of 9-3. Where’s Henry Fonda when you need him?

"We are very pleased that the jury considered all the evidence at issue in this case and determined that Rambus' allegations against the Company were completely without merit," said Steve Appleton, Micron's chairman. "The jury's verdict validates our assertion that Micron acted in accordance with the law and consistent with its values of innovation and fair competition in the marketplace."

Rambus suffered a major blow to its case when it was found to have shredded between 9,000 to 18,000lbs of documents during the case. Rambus originally brought the action from information obtained during the failed FTC case against it, over anti-trust charges. ®

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