“Bloomberg” reported that the California law firm Hagens Berman sued Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix, Micron and other leading DRAM companies from 2016 to 2018 for conspiring to monopolize and increase market prices and harm consumers’ interests. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently dismissed the appeal .
Hagens Berman said that based on the 2017 market survey, three companies, Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix, and Micron, which control 96% of the global DRAM market, conspired to monopolize, and artificially increased the DRAM market, in violation of the “Anti-Monopoly Law” against these companies. file a lawsuit. The firm stated that the basis for the complaint is that Samsung sent a signal to other companies to increase DRAM prices in early 2016, coupled with the simultaneous reduction of DRAM manufacturers’ equipment investment during the same period, the high threshold of the memory market, the monopoly of a few companies, and the easier collusion and conspiracy.
Hagens Berman said that DRAM manufacturers have been punished for suspected joint conspiracy. Samsung and SK Hynix were fined $300 million and $185 million respectively by the U.S. Department of Justice for allegedly manipulating prices, and management was also fined up to 14 months. imprisonment.
Hagens Berman filed three class action lawsuits in 2018, 2019 and 2021. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision relates to a 2019 lawsuit in the Oakland District Court for the Northern District of California. The Auckland District Court at the time rejected Hagens Berman’s claim to fix DRAM prices for “failure to draw reasonable inferences”.
The Court of Appeal said the district court’s decision that the defendant’s conduct was a legitimate gain in the free market was appropriate in principle. Even if the defendant does so in the plaintiff’s favor, it does not constitute conclusive evidence. Following the decision, the DRAM maker is expected to escape four years of litigation as the 2018 lawsuit was dismissed in 2020. There are still people in the semiconductor industry in the market saying that the DRAM market is monopolized by the three major companies, and the monopoly of pricing has become a problem for thousands of years.