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NAND makers face class action suit over price fixing

Posted: 18 Sep 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:NAND? class action suit? price fixing?

SanDisk Corp. and 23 other companies are facing a class action suit over alleged price fixing for NAND flash memory devices in the market. There are also signs that the U.S. Department of Justice and a Canadian agency are looking into alleged price fixing practices in the market.

The class action suit reportedly involves the following defendants: Lexar, Hitachi America, Hitachi Ltd, Hitachi Electronic Devices USA, Hynix Semiconductor America, Hynix Semiconductor, Micron Technology, Micron Semiconductor Products, Mitsubishi, Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA, Mosel Vitelic Corp., Mosel Vitelic Inc., Renesas Technology, Renesas Technology America, SanDisk, Samsung Semiconductor, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd, STMicroelectronics NV, STMicroelectronics Inc., Toshiba, Toshiba America Inc., Toshiba America Electronic Components, Winbond Electronics Corp. and Winbond Electronics Corporation America.

The suit was disclosed in an 8-K document filed by SanDisk on Sept. 14. According to the filing, SanDisk and 23 other companies on Aug. 31 were sued in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California "in a purported consumer class action captioned Stuart Go et al. v. Lexar Media, Inc. et al."

The suit alleges that vendors were involved in "a conspiracy to fix, raise, maintain or stabilize the pricing of flash memory, and concealment thereof, in violation of state and federal laws," according to the filing.

The lawsuit seeks restitution, injunction and damages, including treble damages, in an unspecified amount.

As part of the suit, SanDisk and its CEO, Eli Harari, this week "received grand jury subpoenas issued from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, indicating a Department of Justice investigation into possible antitrust violations in the NAND flash memory industry."

SanDisk also received a notice from the Canadian Competition Bureau, which is an independent law enforcement agency. That organization "has commenced an industry-wide investigation with respect to alleged anti-competitive activity regarding the conduct of companies engaged in the supply of NAND flash memory chips to Canada," according to SanDisk's filing.

The group is requesting that SanDisk preserve any records relevant to such investigation. SanDisk said it intends to cooperate in these investigations.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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