BOISE, Idaho--Micron Technology Inc. here today denied that it has dumped DRAM products in Taiwan, and it blasted the island's International Trade Commission for reportedly levying duties of more than 60% against five foreign memory makers last week (see Sept. 17 story). In addition to Micron's memories, anti-dumping penalties were assessed on DRAMs from IBM, NEC, and Samsung (including the recently acquired Hyundai chip operation).
News of Taiwan's decision to impose anti-dumping duties first appeared in the local press and was picked up on the Internet late Friday. Micron and the four other companies indicated that they have not yet received official notification of Taiwan's decision. Micron complained that information about the dumping case and the duties was "freely disseminated" to the Taiwanese press in violation of World Trade Organization (WTO) standards.
Micron also called the commission's decision a retaliatory move following a U.S. dumping case against Taiwanese memory makers, which were found guilty of unfairly selling devices below market values. The Boise DRAM supplier said it objected to the case and the lack of procedural due process by Taiwan's government.
"There is no basis for this antidumping case," declared Steve Appleton, chairman, CEO and president of Micron. He said that Micron is "acknowledged to be the lowest cost DRAM producer in the world. Yet Micron is charged with a much higher margin than any other U.S. producer. This is clearly a case of retaliation against Micron for filing the U.S. anti-dumping case against Taiwanese DRAM manufacturers.
"Moreover, the duties being imposed by the government of Taiwan are not based on Micron data, but on pure speculation," Appleton added. "Furthermore, these actions are not in compliance with worldwide standards regarding anti-dumping procedures as outlined by WTO. Even though these duties will have minimum impact on Micron, we intend to contest this action both with the government of Taiwan and with the WTO."
A spokesman for IBM Microelectronics in Fishkill, N.Y., said the company currently has no comment on the dumping case in Taiwan. Comments from NEC and Samsung were not immediately available.
Micon said that despite oversupply in memory markets, Taiwanese manufacturers have continued to increase DRAM capacity. Micron said six new DRAM companies started operations in Taiwan during the period of the investigation and nine new DRAM fabrication facilities were brought online.
According to Micron, DRAM capacity in Taiwan jumped from 5,000 wafers per month in 1992 to 180,000 wafers per month in 1999--an increase of 3,500%.
"We are a very small part of the Taiwanese market," Appleton said. "The Taiwanese DRAM industry has grown exponentially over the last several years and there are now more DRAM-producing companies in Taiwan than there are in the rest of the world combined. No impartial proceeding would have found Micron to be dumping product in a market that has been so aggressive in adding capacity."