updated 02:45 pm EST, Wed December 30, 2009
Korea FTC finds NAND producers innocent
Korea's Fair Trade Commission on Wednesday cleared four major memory producers of charges of price fixing. The regulators said their investigations, begun in January of 2007, found no evidence that the unnamed companies were colluding to keep flash and RAM prices high. Agency officials added that the closure of a US investigation in August also supported their decision to end the case.
Though the companies in question were kept secret, they included two Korean companies and one each from Japan and the US, leading many to suspect that those accused of fixing prices were Korea's native Hynix and Samsung as well as Toshiba and either Micron or SanDisk.
These and smaller companies have often denied skewing prices and have often claimed just the opposite, that their pricing has been pushed downwards through factors beyond their control; on average, oversupply or technological advancement has cut the price of memory in half each year. Unofficial rumors have even circulated that Apple abused its position by making companies overproduce memory and then buying a smaller quantity at a cheaper price.