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Samsung settles civil antitrust case for $90 million

[JURIST] Thirty-eight US states and Samsung Electronics [corporate website] agreed Tuesday to a $90 million settlement, pending court approval, to resolve allegations that Samsung fixed prices and engaged in other anticompetitive activities in the market for DRAM memory chips for computers. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who coordinated the suit, said in a press release [text] that the settlement terms "require the company to refrain from conduct that could substantially lessen competition and to cooperate with the states in prosecuting co-conspirators." New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said in his press release [text] that Samsung agreed to assist states in litigating against other DRAM chip manufacturers that participated in the "price-fixing conspiracy." New York State filed suit [complaint PDF; press release] against eight DRAM manufacturers in July 2006.

The civil suits against Samsung and other DRAM manufacturers came after the US Justice Department filed criminal charges against many DRAM manufacturers, alleging an illegal conspiracy to drive up chip prices. In October 2005, Samsung pleaded guilty [JURIST report] to the charges and paid a $300 million fine; three other companies and twelve corporate executives, including three Samsung officers [JURIST report] also pleaded guilty in March 2006. CNET has more.

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