Interestingly enough, the world's largest DRAM
manufacturer, Samsung, is not listed in the claim. Samsung had a DRAM
market share of roughly 30% at the time and has been found guilty of
price fixing during that same period. In March of 2004, the FTC dropped
an antitrust case against Rambus, to which Rambus turned around and sued
Infineon, Hynix and Micron for artificially decreasing the price of DRAM
to hurt the proliferation of RDRAM. Samsung, Rambus' major producer of RDRAM at
the time, was also absent from these accusations.
The alleged collusion hurt the bottom line of several PC manufacturers at the
time. The suit to be filed by Lockyer names several manufactures,
including Apple, Compaq, Dell, Gateway and IBM.
An excerpt from one of the claims reads "The manufacturers did not limit
this pricing coordination to isolated or occasional conversations. On the
contrary, during a roughly four-year period, there were frequent pricing
communications among the conspiring manufacturers, exchanges that intensified
in the days immediately preceding the dates on which they submitted bids to
supply DRAM to the (computer makers), their largest and most important
The industry certainly hasn't been without its share of shakeups. In
March of 2006, four Hynix executives were found guilty of price fixing, and are currently serving jail time. Three
Samsung executives were also found guilty, and Elpida was fined for price fixing too.
The suits seek retribution for the three year price fixing period, and will
also impose penalties if the defendants are found guilty.