There has been an anti-monopoly investigation of the global Dynamic RAM market being conducted by the Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation. In a recent interview with Wu Zenghou (the bureau’s head), the Financial Times is reporting that the investigation has found “massive evidence” against three companies (Samsung, Hynix, and Micron) that are responsible for the vast majority of the segment.
“The anti-monopoly investigation into these three companies has made important progress”, mentions Wu Zenghou. Back in April these three companies were hit with a price-fixing suit here in the United States, and this current investigation seems to confirm everything.
Samsung and SK Hynix were both fined by the US Department of Justice in 2005 and by the European Commission in 2010 on the same price-fixing allegations. If these companies are found guilty again they could face fines over $2.5 billion.
Some have suggested that this investigation could be part of a trade war between China and the United States, with China trying to get some leverage to push hinese semiconductor company Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit as a bigger player on the DRAM market. This is actually being investigated too, both Samsung and SK Hynix have accused China DRAM makers of industrial espionage, too.