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Thursday, May 20, 2010

EC fines memory chip producers 331 million Euro for price cartel

The European Commission has announced a settlement decision in a cartel case that involved ten producers of DRAM memory chips. The fine, which totals €331,273,800 (around £286 million) includes a reduction of 10% for the companies' acknowledgement of the facts. The companies involved were Micron, Samsung, Hynix, Infineon, NEC, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Toshiba, Elpida and Nanya. Micron was not fined because it revealed the existence of the cartel to the Commission in 2002. Only one of the companies – Infineon – was based in Europe but all sell their products in the European Economic Area (EEA) and must abide by EU law.

EC Vice President and Competition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia said "This first settlement decision is another milestone in the Commission's anti-cartel enforcement. By acknowledging their participation in a cartel the companies have allowed the Commission to bring this long-running investigation to a close and to free up resources to investigate other suspected cartels. As the procedure is applied to new cases it is expected to speed up investigations significantly."

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Author: The Fonecast
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