expected, the European Commission has announced fines for ten DRAM makers who took part in price-fixing in the earliest years of the millennium.
The fines total 331 million euro (about $410 million) and vary from 1.8 million euro (about $2.2 million) for Nanya to 146 million euro (about $180 million) levied against Samsung. One company, Micron Technology Inc. (Boise, Idaho), was given a 100 percent reduction for blowing the whistle on the others in the cartel in 2002.
They take into account the sales of the companies involved in the European Economic Area and all include a 10 percent leniency reduction for the companies' acknowledgement that they had transgressed.
Infineon, the only European company to be fined, has been fined 57 million euro (about $70 million) after it received an additional 45 percent discount to its fine for "cooperation."
Hynix has been fined 51 million euro (about $64 million). Elpida has been fined 8.5 million euro (about $10.5 million) NEC and Hitachi have been fined 2.1 million euro (about $2.6 million) for their time as a joint venture, NEC has been fined 10.3 million euro (about $12.7 million) for time selling pre joint venture and Hitachi has been fined 20.4 million euro (about $25.2 million) for their sales pre joint venture. Toshiba has been fined 17.6 million euro (about $21. 8 million) and Mitsubishi 16.5 million euro (about $20.5 million).
"This first settlement decision is another milestone in the Commission's anti-cartel enforcement. By acknowledging their participation in a cartel the companies have allowed the Commission to bring this long-running investigation to a close and to free up resources to investigate other suspected cartels. As the procedure is applied to new cases it is expected to speed up investigations significantly," said competition Commissioner Joaqu'n Almunia, in a statement.
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