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Idaho a part to price-fixing settlement with DRAM manufacturers

Idaho is one of 33 states participating in a $173 million price-fixing settlement with six Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) manufacturers, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said June 24.

DRAM is a type of computer chip used in personal computers, servers, workstations and many other electronic devices. The settlement is on behalf of Idaho consumers and businesses, the State of Idaho and several local governments within Idaho.

The restitution is on behalf of consumers, businesses, the state and certain local governmental agencies that paid more for computers, servers and other electronic devices because of the alleged price-fixing of DRAM chips.

A claims process and the amounts to be distributed to Idaho consumers, businesses, the State of Idaho and local governments will be determined later. Reports from Hynix indicate the impact of a fine it will pay to settle a class-action lawsuit will likely be minimal, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Manufacturers participating in the settlement are: American manufacturers NEC Electronics America, Inc., of Santa Clara, California; Micron Technology, Inc. of Boise, and foreign companies Infineon Technologies A.G. in Germany; Hynix Semiconductor, Inc. in South Korea; Elpida Memory Inc. in Japan; Mosel-Vitelic Corp. in Taiwan; and their American subsidiaries.

The settlement, which is subject to court approval, resolves allegations that the manufacturers agreed with their competitors to fix DRAM prices. The manufacturers did not admit any violations.

“I appreciate that the manufacturers worked with the states to reach an agreement to address our concerns and resolve this matter,” Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. “Idaho’s governments, businesses and consumers spend sizable amounts of money for computers and other products containing DRAM. When those costs are inflated by unlawful anti-competitive practices, as we have alleged in this case, we have a duty to the taxpayers and consumers to recover their money and end the unlawful activity.”

The companies also agreed to injunctive relief that will require them to refrain from conduct that could substantially lessen competition and to cooperate with the states in litigation against co-conspirators. In addition, Idaho will receive reimbursement for its legal costs and fees.

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