Memory makers face EU price fixing fine

European commissioners have fined Samsung, Infineon, Hynix and other memory makers over €331 million for memory price fixing.

Heralding the decision as "another milestone in the Commission's anti-cartel enforcement", Competition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia handed down tough fines on a number of companies involved in a group of companies that fixed the price of DRAM between July 1998 and June 2002.

The list of those fined for breaching Article 101(1) of the EU Treaty, which bans restrictive practices, reads like a Who's Who of the memory market.

Samsung came off worst, shouldering a fine of nearly €146 million. Infineon and Hynix were hit with fines of €57 million and €51 million, respectively. Other companies slapped for involvement in the price-fixing ring include Toshiba, Mitsubishi and the pre-merger NEC and Hitachi.

Fellow cartel member Micron escaped without a fine. Under a 2002 European Commission 'leniency notice', Micron was granted immunity in return for grassing up its co-conspirators.