Samsung, Micron and Hynix are threatening a $2.5 billion fine for colluding on prices for DRAM memory

Chinese Antimonopoly Bureau suspects the largest producers of memory chips in the deliberate overpricing. The head of Department Wu, Jango (Wu Zhenguo) reported significant progress in the investigation of Samsung, Micron and Hynix. Now they have “ample evidence”, but what exactly was the violation and what the consequences would be is not specified.

Chinese Antimonopoly Bureau suspects the largest producers of memory chips in the deliberate overpricing. The head of Department Wu, Jango (Wu Zhenguo) reported significant progress in the investigation of Samsung, Micron and Hynix. Now they have “ample evidence”, but what exactly was the violation and what the consequences would be is not specified.

Chinese Antimonopoly Bureau suspects the largest producers of memory chips in the deliberate overpricing. The head of Department Wu, Jango (Wu Zhenguo) reported significant progress in the investigation of Samsung, Micron and Hynix. Now they have “ample evidence”, but what exactly was the violation and what the consequences would be is not specified.
What happened?

For three decades, the DRAM cost per bit declined, but a few years ago the prices have gone uphill. Only for the 2017 RAM went up by 47%. While Samsung, Micron and Hynix in total control 95% of the world’s DRAM chip market. The whole situation made me think about the conspiracy, and a suspicion arose not only from the Chinese government.

In spring the American law firm Hagens Berman filed against companies in a class action lawsuit. They are accused of artificially restricting the supply of products to price increases.

This is not the first such proceeding. Back in 2005, Hynix agreed to pay $185 million fine for participating in price fixing on DRAM. Samsung it cost $300 million. Later both companies were in the list of 9 manufacturers of DRAM, which the European Commission had fined a total amount of 331 million euros in 2010.
Then it gets worse

Now over Samsung, Micron and Hynix faced a more serious threat. According to some experts, the antitrust agencies to write over $2.5 billion fine to each of the involved companies.

As the Financial Times, the government is interested not only in the decline in prices for DRAM. Market leaders want to persuade to cooperate with local companies that will be able to access advanced production technology of DRAM.

Sources: FT [subscription], Tom’s Hardware