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Thursday, December 01, 2005

Samsung Pleads Guilty in Price-Fixing Case

Samsung Pleads Guilty



Story in Brief:
In 1996, Intel chose Rambus technology to help speed up systems running its then-upcoming Pentium 4.

But the chip makers did not want to pay Rambus royalties.

DRAM prices fell sharply — so much so that Intel agreed to support non-Rambus technology in the fall of 2001.

Shortly after that, DRAM prices nearly quadrupled.

The Justice Department investigation began in 2002, a year after memory chip prices began to climb even though the rest of the tech industry was suffering its worst downturn in history. At the time, then Dell CEO Michael Dell blamed the high prices on cartel-like behavior.

The investigation concluded that Samsung and other companies participated in a worldwide price-fixing conspiracy that damaged competition and raised PC prices.

Victims, according to federal prosecutors, included Dell Inc., Compaq Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., Apple Computer Inc., International Business Machines Corp. and Gateway Inc.

Apple and Dell raised PC prices to compensate while others reduced the amount of memory installed on their systems to compensate.

The Bottom Line:
I have reason to believe that similar scenario happens everywhere in the world. Perhaps we should really consider how far should someone else go to come to term with surviving? More so, long term business survival strategy ?

USA is the only place currently where anti-trust cases are being pursued to the deepest level. I like to guess that the reason is not that there is no similar interest of being"honest" in Malaysia or Singapore, rather it is about who has the resources to carry out such tasks.

Malaysia has public prosecutors, but how far can they go where fundings are allocated?

Eventually, USA seems like a place where government is willing to spend money on anything for whatsoever reason. Attributing to the effectiveness of the tax department in doing their jobs, it is very doubtful to me that similar things would happen in Malaysia when many government agencies are still fighting for more fundings.

All these really require a lot of resources.. otherwise just forget it.

What is worst ? The whistler-blower may not be the justice department, but could also be competitors on the loser side.

Is there fairness? Shouldn't whistler-blower be prosecuted for being unprofessional ?

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