Samsung admits chip price-fixing

October 14, 2005

Samsung has agreed to pay a huge fine after admitting in federal court that it was part of a conspiracy to fix the price of semiconductor chips.

The $300 million fine is the second-largest antitrust penalty ever levied by the U.S. government and is the fourth such guilty plea in the case that revolves around prices charged for dynamic random access memory chips a few years ago.

Prosecutor Phillip Warren said the investigation launched in 2002 was critical for U.S. computer manufacturers who saw their overhead skyrocket.

"The direct victims involve the largest personal computer manufacturers in the world and include firms based in the Silicon Valley," Warren told the San Francisco Chronicle.

The effect of the plea was not clear Friday since many of the computer companies hurt by the conspiracy also have civil actions pending against the defendant companies.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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