US states start class action against memory chip companies

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US states start class action against memory chip companies

Antony Savvas

Over 30 US states are suing seven computer memory chip makers over charges that they conspired to keep US market chip prices artificially high.

Those named in the lawsuits include Micron Technology and Infineon Technologies, who have already been the subject of a US Department of Justice (DoJ) investigation into the alleged rigging of the market.

The DoJ has already fined a number of companies for their role in influencing chip prices, and a number of executives from suppliers have faced separate criminal charges.

The class action suit alleges the chip makers violated state and federal anti-trust laws during a conspiracy to fix prices for dynamic Ram chips from 1998 to June 2002.

The DoJ probe into several companies’ actions, which started in 2002, is now almost complete.

The class action alleges that the market was rigged during a chip glut, when prices dived and chip makers started going to the wall.

By bumping up the prices through agreements between suppliers, the lawsuit alleges, US consumers were forced to pay more for their PCs and other products as a result.

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