First PC Monitors, Now DRAM Manufacturers are Accused of Price Fixing

/ 5 years ago

It wasn’t too long ago when a few of the companies behind computer monitors were being investigated and charged with price-fixing during 2012. It was noted that DRAM industry maybe doing the same.

Dynamic random access memory (DRAM) companies sold their product to consumers with a price that was at or below the cost of manufacturing during most part of 2012 in the hopes to boost prices, to cut down production by end of Q3 2013. Currently, the prices have shot up significantly, and because of this, PC users and enthusiasts are feeling the heat and accusing companies of artificial price manipulation.

An executive of a South Korea based electronics firm told Korea Times,“It is quite strange that the global memory chip market is seeing unexpected price rises amid less demand for conventional personal computers. It is highly possible that the chipmakers are engaged in price-fixing.”

Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix Semiconductor and Micron Technology, which controls Elpida memory’s shipments till the time the acquisition process is complete, are the biggest DRAM suppliers. Since November, there has been a hike of about 35% in DRAM prices. As of now, all 3 of the suppliers have reduced the production of these chips to stabilize pricing.

It was revealed that Micron Technologies are the ones who are facing the highest criticism from their South Korean clients. On a condition of being anonymous, the person associated in this matter said,”“Among other firms, Micron Technology is apparently using its commanding position to manipulate computer chip prices. We are watching it closely.”

It is also being noted that memory chip makers have also started boosting the output of LPDDR2 and LPDDR3, the chips that are typically used in smartphones and tablets. As the global demand for PC is decreasing while the demand for mobile devices are increasing every fast. With the prices of memory increasing, LPDDR type memories will become a rather expensive commodity in your mobile devices very soon.

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It is believed that there is a possibility that memory chip manufacturers are engaged in price fixing much like how display manufacturers did. There’s a strong pattern of anti-competitive acts and practices which will be reflection greatly on consumers.

Source: Xbit Labs 

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