DRAM price fixing
In 2002, the United States Department of Justice, under the Sherman Antitrust Act, began a probe into the activities of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) manufacturers. US computer makers, including Dell and Gateway, claimed that inflated DRAM pricing was causing lost profits and hindering their effectiveness in the marketplace.
"In December 2003, the Department charged Alfred P. Censullo, a Regional Sales Manager for Micron Technology Inc., with obstruction of justice in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1503. Censullo pleaded guilty to the charge and admitted to having withheld and altered documents responsive to a grand jury subpoena served on Micron in June 2002."
On 20 October 2004, Infineon also pleaded guilty. The company was fined US$160M for its involvement, then the third largest antitrust fine in US history. In April 2005, Hynix Semiconductor was fined US$185M after they also admitted guilt. In October 2005, Samsung entered a guilty plea in connection with the cartel.
On 5 April 2006, Sun Woo 'Sunny' Lee, Senior Manager of DRAM at Samsung Electronics, entered into a plea bargain with the US Government for his involvement in the price fixing conspiracy. Following the plea agreement he was sentenced to 8 months in prison and fined US$250,000.
On 27 April 2018, Hagens Berman filed a class-action lawsuit against Samsung, Hynix, and Micron in U.S. District Court alleging the trio engaged in DRAM price fixing causing prices to skyrocket through 2016 and 2017. Between June 2016 and January 2018 the price of DRAM nearly tripled.
- "Memory makers hit by price-fixing claims". The Register. Retrieved 2007-08-01.
- "SAMSUNG AGREES TO PLEAD GUILTY AND TO PAY $300 MILLION CRIMINAL FINE FOR ROLE IN PRICE FIXING CONSPIRACY" (Press release). US Department of Justice. 13 October 2005. Archived from the original on November 12, 2005. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
- UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. SUN WOO LEE (D.C. Cir. 2006). Text
- "Samsung men 'admit' price fixing". BBC News. 2006-02-22. Retrieved 2016-04-08.
- "DRAM Price Fixing". Hagens Berman Lawfirm.
- "Google Samsung, Hynix, Micron sued for DRAM price fixing that could have raised PC prices". TechRepublic.