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Mitsubishi eyed by Antitrust Division over DRAM sales

Posted: 24 May 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Spencer Chin 

The U.S. Justice Department's Antitrust Division has contacted Mitsubishi Electrics Corp. concerning sales of DRAMs from 1998 to 2002.

The latest U.S. investigation includes Mitsubishi Electric and Electronics USA Inc., as well as parent company Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and affiliates. The companies withdrew from the DRAM business in early 2003.

The move hints that the DRAM price-fixing scandal could extend beyond the companies that have already been implicated. Earlier this month, Samsung Electronics, Hynix Semiconductor Inc. and Infineon Technologies AG agreed to pay fines totalling Rs.721.76 crore ($160 million) to settle a class-action suit involving DRAM price fixing.

Following a Justice probe, Samsung, Hynix and Infineon pleaded guilty to charges of DRAM price fixing between 1999 and 2003. All three companies were hit with fines ranging from Rs.721.76 crore ($160 million) to Rs.1,353.30 crore ($300 million), with executives from each assessed additional fines and jail sentences of up to eight months.

Mitsubishi and several of its subsidiaries have already been hit with civil suits alleging DRAM price fixing. The company said it was uncertain about what impact the Justice Department request or civil lawsuits regarding DRAM sales would have on its businesses. It said it would not reassess the fiscal 2006 business forecast that it announced in April.

- Spencer Chin
EE Times

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