The settlement resolves a 2006 lawsuit filed by 33 attorneys general. The suit alleges that consumers and state agencies that bought electronics containing DRAM paid higher prices from 1998 to 2002 due to price-fixing by six companies: Elpida, Hynix, Infineon, Micron, Mosel Vitelic, and NEC.
The suit resulted from a multistate investigation that began in 2004 and a federal investigation that exposed a scheme where DRAM manufacturers profited at the expense of consumers by trimming production in order to artificially raise prices, reports the Washington State Attorney General's Office.
Several companies and executives pleaded guilty to criminal price-fixing actions brought by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The defendants in the states' case have tentatively agreed to pay $173 million to the 33 states and private plaintiffs, refrain from illegal price-fixing, and conduct employee training.