For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
Date: February 6, 2007
Idaho Joins 36 States in $90 Million Settlement With Samsung
(Boise) – The State of Idaho, many local governments in Idaho and Idaho consumers will receive restitution payments as the result of a legal settlement with Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. and Samsung Electronics Company Ltd. (“Samsung”), Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said.
The voluntary $90 million national settlement resolves allegations that Samsung agreed with other major computer chip manufacturers to fix prices of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM). DRAM is a type of computer chip used in all personal computers, servers, workstations and many other electronic devices.
“This settlement represents a significant step in repairing the harm done to the State of Idaho, local governments and Idaho consumers,” Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. “I appreciate Samsung’s willingness to work with the states to resolve this matter.”
The restitution is on behalf of consumers and certain governmental agencies that paid more for computers, servers and other electronic devices because of the alleged price-fixing of DRAM chips. The settlement is subject to court approval. Samsung admits no violation in the settlement.
Under the settlement, Samsung also has agreed to injunctive relief that will require the company to refrain from conduct that could substantially lessen competition and to cooperate with the states in litigation against co-conspirators. In addition, the state attorneys general will receive up to $1 million to reimburse their legal costs.
The share of the settlement to be distributed to the State of Idaho, Idaho consumers and local governments in Idaho as well as a claims process will be determined later.
A lawsuit brought by the states involving other defendants continues in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. The states seek damages, restitution, civil penalties and injunctive relief for consumers and governmental agencies that paid higher prices for electronics from 1997-1998 to 2002 as a result of alleged price-fixing by Elpida, Hynix, Infineon, Micron, Mosel Vitelic, Nanya and NEC.
The states’ suit arose from a multi-state investigation that began in 2004, following a federal criminal investigation that exposed a scheme where DRAM manufacturers profited at the expense of consumers in the computer and electronics industry. The states’ complaint lays out details of the conspiracy, including an agreement by industry leaders to trim production in order to artificially raise prices. According to the states’ complaint, the defendants violated federal and state antitrust laws by coordinating prices they charged for DRAM.
States participating in the lawsuit include Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
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