DOJ Charges Samsung with DRAM Price Fixing

October 13, 2005. The Department of Justice (DOJ) charged Samsung by criminal Information filed in the U.S. District Court (NDCal) with fixing the prices of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) sold to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, which is codified at 15 U.S.C. 1.

Section 1 provides, in part, that "Every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, is declared to be illegal. Every person who shall make any contract or engage in any combination or conspiracy hereby declared to be illegal shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine ..."

The action was brought by the DOJ's Antitrust Division. It charges Samsung Electronics Company Limited and its U.S. subsidiary, Samsung Semiconductor, Inc.

The DOJ also announced that Samsung agreed to plead guilty and pay a $300 Million fine. See, DOJ release.

This is another in a series of actions taken by the DOJ regarding price fixing by DRAM makers.

On April 21, 2005, the DOJ charged Hynix with price fixing in the U.S. District Court (NDCal). See, story titled "DOJ Charges Hynix with DRAM Price Fixing" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,121, April 22, 2005.

On December 2, 2004, the DOJ charged four executives of Infineon Technologies AG, and its subsidiary, Infineon Technologies North America Corporation. See, story titled "DOJ Brings More DRAM Price Fixing Charges" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No.1,030, December 3, 2004.

On September 15, 2004, the DOJ filed a criminal information in the U.S. District Court (NDCal) against Infineon Technologies AG. On October 20, 2004, Infineon plead guilty. See also, story titled "DOJ Charges Infineon With Felony Price Fixing; Infineon Pleads Guilty" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 978, September 16, 2004.

Also, on December 17, 2003, the DOJ announced that it charged Alfred P. Censullo, a former employee of Micron Technology Inc., with violation of 18 U.S.C. 1503 in connection with his "altering and concealing documents containing competitor pricing information, which were requested in a federal grand jury subpoena".