DRAM makers investigated for price fixing
Both the US and the EU are looking into whether the big memory manufacturers colluded to elevate DRAM prices back in 2001, according to several published reports today. The story at com.com explains what happened to memory prices during that time:
The probe focuses on whether memory manufacturers such as Micron, Samsung and Infineon colluded to drive up prices in late 2001. At that time, the PC market was shrinking, but prices for DRAM and double data rate DRAM--the type of memory found in the vast majority of PCs--were skyrocketing. Some types of memory tripled in price in a few months.
This price surge caused Michael Dell to complain about "cartel-like behavior" of several major DRAM suppliers. Silicon.com reports
that the investigation may be nearing an end, with plea bargains and prosecution coming soon.
As if all this weren't enough fun for the DRAM guys, everybody notes that the newly reinvigorated Rambus may be back to attempt to collect royalities of DRAM sales yet again.