The European Commission slapped 33% duties on imports of DRam (dynamic Ram) made by the Korean firm Hynix Semiconductor.
This is the largest such punishment the commission has ever meted out to one company, and has sparked opposition from Hynix's customers in Europe and some European member states, according to sources.
The move follows a lengthy investigation into Korean government support for Hynix. Hynix has been found to benefit from subsidies in the form of financing, provided by government-owned or controlled Korean banks, to the detriment of the European chip industry, the commission said.
The European regulator said subsidies to rival Korean chip maker Samsung Electronics were found to be within the limits allowed by law, and Samsung will therefore not be affected by any punitive duties.