News Comments November 30, 2005

Well, here’s another rant about the United States. They must be getting old, but this one got a little chuckle from me. Plus, it has to do with the computer industry so it’s extra interesting to me.

Samsung Pleads Guilty in Price-fixing Case

So, back several years ago, there were a few big DRAM (dynamic random access memory) makers who the rest of the tech industry liked to call the ‘DRAMurai’. The top four companies, Samsung, Hynix, Micron and Infineon control about 75% of total DRAM revenues. Because of this fact, it was relatively easy for the companies to collaborate to keep RAM prices articifially high. Actually as a result, OEMs such as Dell, HP and IBM were forced to either increase their selling prices or reduce the amount of RAM preinstalled in their systems. Of course, price-fixing is highly illegal in the free market economy.

Now, this story alone doesn’t really surprise me. Sure Samsung had to pay $300 million, but that’s relative pocketchange to them. What caught my attention was the fact that this ruling was made by a US District Judge. The three foreign companies (Samsung – S. Korea, Hynix – S. Korea, Infineon – Germany) all had to pay exorbitant amounts of money. The last one, Micron based in Boise, Idaho, is not expected to face any charges… Wow, the only American company named in the suit and they get off scottfree. What a coincidence huh? Now to be honest here, I don’t understand the full intricacies of the lawsuit so perhaps Micron didn’t “price-fix” as much. Who knows. I still found it interesting nonetheless…


2 Replies to “News Comments November 30, 2005”

  1. I always thought Ram cost way too much. When I was looking at building the downstairs computer with you it was one of the more expensive parts of the machine. That didnt make much sense…i guess it does now. I think those companies should send every person $200 in the mail:D

    What would you do with your 200??

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