EU set to fine Samsung Elec, Hynix, others-sources

BRUSSELS, May 17 (BestGrowthStock) – Ten memory chip makers
including Samsung Electronics (005930.KS: ), Infineon (IFXGn.DE: )
and Hynix Semiconductor (000660.KS: ) are expected to face EU
fines this week on charges of illegally fixing prices, two
people familiar with the situation said on Monday.
This will be the first decision under the European
Commission’s new settlement procedure introduced in July 2008 in
which companies admit taking part in a cartel in return for a 10
percent cut in fines.

The other companies set to be fined are Micron Technology
(MU.O: ), Elpida Memory Inc (6665.T: ), NEC Electronics Corp
(6723.T: ), Hitachi Ltd (6501.T: ), Toshiba Corp (6502.T: ),
Mitsubishi Electric (6503.T: ) and Nanya Technology (2408.TW: ).

Samsung Electronics and Hynix are the world’s largest and
second-largest memory chip makers respectively.

“A decision on fines is expected on Wednesday,” one of the
people said.

The second person said the total fine may be up to 300
million euros ($381 million) and could have been higher without
the settlement procedure.

The Commission, the EU antitrust watchdog, has championed
the new procedure as a more effective method to deter violations
and a speedier decision-making process.
The EU executive can fine companies up to 10 percent of
their global turnover for breaking EU laws.

Infineon said last December the Commission had opened formal
proceedings against it on suspicion of anti-competitive
behaviour in the European market for DRAM chips, used in
personal computers, printers, mobile phones and game consoles.

South Korean regulators in 2007 dropped an investigation
into suspected price-fixing by Samsung Electronics, Micron,
Hynix and Infineon.
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(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, editing by Dale Hudson)

EU set to fine Samsung Elec, Hynix, others-sources