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Thursday, March 23, 2006
Samsung Executives Plead Guilty to Price Fixing

Three Samsung executives agreed to plead guilty and serve jail time for their involvement in the DRAM memory price-fixing conspiracy in the memory chip business, U.S. Justice Department announced on Wednesday.

The U.S. government has blamed several companies for driving up the price of dynamic random access memory( DRAM) chip makers, chips used in products ranging from personal computers and servers to cell phones, cameras and game consoles. They conspired over a roughly three-year period ending in June 2002 to fix the prices of memory chips, according to the U.S governement's invstigation.

The three executives each agreed to jail terms of between seven and eight months and will each pay a fine of $250,000 for their involvement in the price-fixing.The three executives are senior DRAM sales manager Sun Woo Lee, Yeongho Kang, associate director, DRAM marketing for Samsung's U.S. subsidiary, and Young Woo Lee, sales director for Samsung's German subsidiary.

The Samsung executives' pleas and sentences are subject to the approval of a judge in federal court in San Francisco. Their lawyers could not be reached for any comments.

In response to the plea, Samsung issued a statement noting that the company had previously reached a settlement with the department and saying it was "strongly committed to fair competition and ethical practices and forbids anti-competitive behavior."

In October of last year, Samsung itself agreed to plead guilty to price-fixing and pay a $300 million fine. Fines totaling more than $731 million have resulted from the DRAM investigation ( see CDRinfo's previous news).

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