SAN FRANCISCOSouth Korea's Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has closed a three-year investigation of NAND flash memory chip makers, saying it found no evidence that they were engaged in international price fixing, according to reports.
The antitrust agency said it did not uncover any evidence of cartel activity that affected pricing and other terms in the local market, according to the reports.
According to a report by the Korea Herald, the FTC's investigation was centered around four companiestwo South Korean firms, one Japanese and one American. The South Korea firms investigated were almost certainly Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Hynix Semiconductor Inc., the No. 1 and No. 3 ranked NAND suppliers, respectively.
JoongAng Daily reported that Toshiba Corp., the No. 2 NAND flash supplier in the world, was the Japanese company investigated. The U.S. company involved was likely either Micron Technology Inc. or Intel Corp., which are currently fourth and fifth in the world, respectively, in NAND market share, according to market research firm iSuppli Corp.
U.S. investigators closed a similar investigation of NAND flash vendors earlier this year after failing to find wrongdoing.