17 February 2006

DRAM Industry Rife with Corruption

Elpida Memory Inc., a Japanese manufacturer of dynamic random access memory (DRAM), will plead guilty and pay an $84 million fine for participating in an international conspiracy to fix prices in the DRAM market. [Corporate Crime Reporter]

The amazing fact: Elpida is the fourth DRAM company to be caught. The other companies and fines:

Nov 2005: Samsung Semiconductor, $300 million
May 2005: Hynix Semiconductor, $185 million
Oct 2004: Infineon Technologies, $160 million

One would think 4 violations and over $700 millions in fines in two years (and legal fees on top of that) would be enough, but it seems one of two things is true here: either the industry can’t get its act together, or it’s more lucrative to break the law and pay the fine than to float along with market forces. The likelier scenario is the latter, which means the people who can’t get their act together are trade officials and lawmakers.

It makes one wonder how much more corruption is out there but yet undetected.


Libertarian Jason said...

Or, another angle is that these charges are simply penalties for not paying off the bureaucrats in advance of said activity.....

WestEnder said...