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Khali
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Lawsuit alleges Samsung, Micron, and Hynix colluded to drive up DRAM prices

Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:01 pm

And yet another lawsuit has the Lawyers rubbing their hands together. Probably with good cause. But, I'm not fond of Lawyers. Then again I think most big Corporation CEO's are about as low as most Lawyers.

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/ ... verpricing
 
Waco
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Re: Lawsuit alleges Samsung, Micron, and Hynix colluded to drive up DRAM prices

Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:16 pm

This should be interesting. We'll all get a few bucks and the lawyers will get millions. :P
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chuckula
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Re: Lawsuit alleges Samsung, Micron, and Hynix colluded to drive up DRAM prices

Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:18 pm

No no no no no no no!

Yes.

A bit a bit.

See, everybody whines when Intel or Nvidia does something "anticompetitive" (read: Something that AMD doesn't like) but that's not really "anti" competition. It's just competition that AMD and its fanboy crowd doesn't like very much.

I'm frankly much more concerned about something that is actually anti-competitive, which is pretty much what collusion and price fixing entails. Unlike Intel/Nvidia antics, it's not designed to drive anybody out of business. Far from it, it's designed to keep everybody fat & happy at the expense of consumers.
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uni-mitation
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Re: Lawsuit alleges Samsung, Micron, and Hynix colluded to drive up DRAM prices

Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:22 pm

Khali wrote:
And yet another lawsuit has the Lawyers rubbing their hands together. Probably with good cause. But, I'm not fond of Lawyers. Then again I think most big Corporation CEO's are about as low as most Lawyers.

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/ ... verpricing


I am signing up to get my measly $4.95 dollars mailed to me in around 18 to 24 months from now since I bought some memory for my last build. These lawyers make like the same thieves they presume to chase after. And the world goes 'round 'round!

article wrote:
Antitrust violations – or monopolies – essentially entail lowered competition between competitors in a single market, meaning these corporate entities have greater control over fluctuations in supply and therefore pricing, leading to artificial price increases. Antitrust pacts are illegal under the Sherman Act.



uni-mitation
 
Captain Ned
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Re: Lawsuit alleges Samsung, Micron, and Hynix colluded to drive up DRAM prices

Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:03 pm

Ho-hum. Ancient news. Not sure if this is the second or third go-round with these exact same companies since the first case in 2002.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DRAM_price_fixing

Launder, rinse, repeat.

https://techreport.com/news/8240/hynix- ... ice-fixing
https://techreport.com/news/9093/samsun ... -300m-fine
https://techreport.com/news/9459/hynix- ... -jail-time
What we have today is way too much pluribus and not enough unum.
 
The Egg
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Re: Lawsuit alleges Samsung, Micron, and Hynix colluded to drive up DRAM prices

Tue May 01, 2018 8:03 am

It should be a minimum 8x the previous fine for the second violation, and a further exponential increase (or a large percentage of their gross income) for the 3rd.
 
freebird
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Re: Lawsuit alleges Samsung, Micron, and Hynix colluded to drive up DRAM prices

Tue May 01, 2018 8:32 am

Waco wrote:
This should be interesting. We'll all get a few bucks and the lawyers will get millions. :P


They may have a hard time proving it with server memory & GPU memory demand as high as it is... but yes, even if they do, the lawyers we get millions, user will get a few bucks and memory prices will get a "settlement tax" added on the forward cost of memory.... Great Deal!!! (not.)
 
Glorious
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Re: Lawsuit alleges Samsung, Micron, and Hynix colluded to drive up DRAM prices

Tue May 01, 2018 9:00 am

freebird wrote:
They may have a hard time proving it with server memory & GPU memory demand as high as it is


Understatement.

I have no problem believing that they are artificially constraining supply (Because they've publicly said that they are!) in tacit cahoots, but the problem is that reacting to what your competitors say in their public filings/earnings calls isn't straightforward collusion.

And that, I'm afraid, is exactly what the complaint alleges.

In the previous case there was evidence that they held private meetings to do this. That's completely illegal. They also had employees plead guilty to specifically setting pricing based on shared information. That's the dumb way to do it, the current compliant alleges this is all strictly supply, which is the smarter way to do it.

Basically, the complaint suggests, completely circumstantially, that they conspired to coordinate through public filings/earnings calls. Even if they did, that's hard to prove. And, honestly, it's entirely possible that they didn't: Once Micron publicly says "We're focusing on profitability at this time, not investments aimed at expanding market share", yeah, Samsung can react accordingly.

So, this really isn't like round 1. This is a very tough case. Unless someone comes out of the woodwork, one way or another, that can credibly claim that there was private decision amongst the companies to coordinate from that point forward solely through their filings, well, I *really* wouldn't hold my breath.
 
cynan
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Re: Lawsuit alleges Samsung, Micron, and Hynix colluded to drive up DRAM prices

Tue May 01, 2018 9:57 am

Glorious wrote:

I have no problem believing that they are artificially constraining supply (Because they've publicly said that they are!) in tacit cahoots, but the problem is that reacting to what your competitors say in their public filings/earnings calls isn't straightforward collusion.

And that, I'm afraid, is exactly what the complaint alleges.

In the previous case there was evidence that they held private meetings to do this. That's completely illegal. They also had employees plead guilty to specifically setting pricing based on shared information. That's the dumb way to do it, the current compliant alleges this is all strictly supply, which is the smarter way to do it.


From what I've seen of the claimant's case from published articles, I don't really understand how this is collusion. Coordinated public statements? Is there precedent for an antitrust case based on something like that? I've seen no mention of allegations of secret dealings or communications to actually fix prices or set capacity expansion. Just that they somehow acted in the spirit of collusion by announcing publicly (on financial earnings calls and the like) that their business plan was to be wary about ramping up supply.

But I don't see how telling your investors that you are being cautious not to suddenly tank the price of their stock is collusion... As you all know, the memory market has been a boom-bust affair, which was recovering from a bust 2016/beginning of 2017. It would have been surprising if these companies had not been telling their investors that they were being careful with capacity/supply at that point.

Weakest memory price fixing class action case so far by the looks of it. This is the same legal company that won a case against Samsung in 2006, Maybe they figure, since they've done it before, it's not too much of an investment to take their chances?
 
freebird
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Re: Lawsuit alleges Samsung, Micron, and Hynix colluded to drive up DRAM prices

Tue May 01, 2018 11:14 am

cynan wrote:
Glorious wrote:

I have no problem believing that they are artificially constraining supply (Because they've publicly said that they are!) in tacit cahoots, but the problem is that reacting to what your competitors say in their public filings/earnings calls isn't straightforward collusion.

And that, I'm afraid, is exactly what the complaint alleges.

In the previous case there was evidence that they held private meetings to do this. That's completely illegal. They also had employees plead guilty to specifically setting pricing based on shared information. That's the dumb way to do it, the current compliant alleges this is all strictly supply, which is the smarter way to do it.


From what I've seen of the claimant's case from published articles, I don't really understand how this is collusion. Coordinated public statements? Is there precedent for an antitrust case based on something like that? I've seen no mention of allegations of secret dealings or communications to actually fix prices or set capacity expansion. Just that they somehow acted in the spirit of collusion by announcing publicly (on financial earnings calls and the like) that their business plan was to be wary about ramping up supply.

But I don't see how telling your investors that you are being cautious not to suddenly tank the price of their stock is collusion... As you all know, the memory market has been a boom-bust affair, which was recovering from a bust 2016/beginning of 2017. It would have been surprising if these companies had not been telling their investors that they were being careful with capacity/supply at that point.

Weakest memory price fixing class action case so far by the looks of it. This is the same legal company that won a case against Samsung in 2006, Maybe they figure, since they've done it before, it's not too much of an investment to take their chances?


They call this a "shake down". The lawyers will surely be willing to take a several million dollar "settlement" with the companies declaring no guilt to make it go away, since the companies could spend several million fighting the lawsuit & discovery, etc.
 
Glorious
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Re: Lawsuit alleges Samsung, Micron, and Hynix colluded to drive up DRAM prices

Tue May 01, 2018 11:20 am

cynan wrote:
From what I've seen of the claimant's case from published articles, I don't really understand how this is collusion. Coordinated public statements? Is there precedent for an antitrust case based on something like that? I've seen no mention of allegations of secret dealings or communications to actually fix prices or set capacity expansion. Just that they somehow acted in the spirit of collusion by announcing publicly (on financial earnings calls and the like) that their business plan was to be wary about ramping up supply.


The key is the "coordination" of the public statements. Generally, as you said, if they are just paying attention to what they are doing publicly, that's not collusion.

-BUT- If they privately agreed at some point that, going forward, they would use public statements to further a conspiracy to constrain supply, yes, it's still collusion.

The problem is exactly as you say though, the complainants don't really allege that such a secret meeting or communication took place, they simply suggest, circumstantially, that it might have. And it's not even a very strong circumstantial case, it's not like circumstances described are even that peculiar or suggestive.

cynan wrote:
Weakest memory price fixing class action case so far by the looks of it.


Yup.
 
CScottG
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Re: Lawsuit alleges Samsung, Micron, and Hynix colluded to drive up DRAM prices

Thu May 03, 2018 5:42 pm

freebird wrote:
Waco wrote:
This should be interesting. We'll all get a few bucks and the lawyers will get millions. :P


They may have a hard time proving it with server memory & GPU memory demand as high as it is... but yes, even if they do, the lawyers we get millions, user will get a few bucks and memory prices will get a "settlement tax" added on the forward cost of memory.... Great Deal!!! (not.)



As chuck mentioned, for consumers its more about corrective action for future purchasers. ..and those recieving payments: could threaten the firm(s) and participating lawyers with unreasonable fees, regardless of any prior arangement.

I'll probably build another system in 2020-2021, and I really don't want to spend double on system memory (..particularly if I go for 128 gig ..depending on an alternative with how Optane memory (DIMM) modules are priced).



I doubt they will have a hard time with the *suit.. more like a hard (long) time agreeing on just how much the settlement should be and how its structured.

Even the underlying *criminal law* is broad. (..for instance the "agreement" doesn't have to be formal at all for price fixing, just some factual behaviour that results in an "agreement" (similar price/time) that doesn't *appear* to be *primarily* a market-force result.) And the civil suit has a low burden: more probable than not; legitimate justifications are "tempered" by the overall outcome (..sort of: 51% "agreement", 49% justification = plantiff's win, though by how much (money) is yet another factor.). If it gets to a jury it's mostly about jury selection - people that are suspcious of big business generally, and people who don't like being taken advantage of by someone with a mosterous advantage.

*btw, because it's civil the DOJ would be looking HARD at the case to see what gets entered into evidence, to potentially go after the defendents criminally. That's a VERY strong incentive to settle.

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