Samsung, Micron, Hynix sued for alleged DRAM price fixing

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 28
Another class action lawsuit has been filed, alleging that Samsung, Hynix, and Micron conspired to limit the supply of memory, keeping consumer prices artificially high as a result.

Hynix DDR3L DRAM


According to law firm Hagens Berman, competition between between Samsung, Micron and Hynix were forcing prices to drop on RAM, despite record demand for the memory. Starting the first calendar quarter of 2016 and through the third quarter of 2017, Hagens Berman alleges that the trio's revenues from global DRAM sales more than doubled as a result of the production decrease and price-fixing scheme.

Samsung, Micron and Hynix collectively controlled 96 percent of the worldwide DRAM market share as of the middle of 2017. When the Chinese government announced an investigation into the matter in 2017, the "conduct changed abruptly," according to the court filing.

"What we've uncovered in the DRAM market is a classic antitrust, price-fixing scheme in which a small number of kingpin corporations hold the lion's share of the market," said Hagens Berman managing partner Steve Berman. "Instead of playing by the rules, Samsung, Micron and Hynix chose to put consumers in a chokehold, wringing the market for more profit."

DRAM saw a 47 percent jump in price in 2017, the largest jump in 30 years.

The class action applies to anyone in the U.S. who purchased a device using DRAM -- including Macs, iPads, and iPhones -- between July 1, 2016 and Feb. 1, 2018.

Hagens Berman achieved a $300 million settlement for purchasers who had been forced to pay artificially high prices in a suit in 2006 against DRAM manufacturers. In the Department of Justice's case, defendants were convicted for conspiring to fix prices of DRAM. Samsung and Hynix pleaded guilty to the DOJ's charges and paid paid a collective $731 million in criminal fines, and served a collective 3,185 days of jail time.

2018-04-27 Dram Class Action Complaint by Mike Wuerthele on Scribd

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,900member
    Of course, we the end users will see maybe a buck or two at most out of this.
    edited April 27 blastdoorbrian greenzeus423magman1979olsolsmacxpressjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 34
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,873member
    money! money! money!
  • Reply 3 of 34
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,719member
    The law firm forgot to include Apple in the law suit. Apple doubled the base memory of iPhone to 32 GB from 16 GB in iPhone 7. Since Apple is the leader in smartphone, all Android smartphone copycats followed. This caused a tremendous increase in NAND demand thus a supply demand imbalance. Similar thing happened in DRAM. 
  • Reply 4 of 34
    tzeshan said:
    The law firm forgot to include Apple in the law suit. Apple doubled the base memory of iPhone to 32 GB from 16 GB in iPhone 7. Since Apple is the leader in smartphone, all Android smartphone copycats followed. This caused a tremendous increase in NAND demand thus a supply demand imbalance. Similar thing happened in DRAM. 
    Aple is not a manufacturer of DRAM.  Thus Apple was excluded.
    tallest skilmejsricmagman1979anton zuykovlongpathStrangeDaysRobPalmer9watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 34
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,719member
    macseeker said:
    tzeshan said:
    The law firm forgot to include Apple in the law suit. Apple doubled the base memory of iPhone to 32 GB from 16 GB in iPhone 7. Since Apple is the leader in smartphone, all Android smartphone copycats followed. This caused a tremendous increase in NAND demand thus a supply demand imbalance. Similar thing happened in DRAM. 
    Aple is not a manufacturer of DRAM.  Thus Apple was excluded.
    The defendant only has to prove that Apple and all other Android smartphone makers caused tremendous demand. The lawsuit failed to say how Samsung and others decreased production. The lawsuit has no merit. 
  • Reply 6 of 34
    Can't wait for my $3.00 check!
    zeus423anton zuykovwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 34
    rob53 said:
    Of course, we the end users will see maybe a buck or two at most out of this.

    I actually got $20 from the last price fixing settlement.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 34
    tzeshan said:
    macseeker said:
    tzeshan said:
    The law firm forgot to include Apple in the law suit. Apple doubled the base memory of iPhone to 32 GB from 16 GB in iPhone 7. Since Apple is the leader in smartphone, all Android smartphone copycats followed. This caused a tremendous increase in NAND demand thus a supply demand imbalance. Similar thing happened in DRAM. 
    Aple is not a manufacturer of DRAM.  Thus Apple was excluded.
    The defendant only has to prove that Apple and all other Android smartphone makers caused tremendous demand. The lawsuit failed to say how Samsung and others decreased production. The lawsuit has no merit. 
    The same law firm was behind a prior lawsuit that won -- and some of the culprits did some prison time (probably not much).  The effect of the lawsuit did eventually cause a correction in prices.  As such, I do hold some hope... but not in the short-term.  The other factor is that if the Korean companies continue to collude to hold down production - the Chinese will eventually cause them to regret it (unfortunately it won't be for several years at the earliest).  I have no doubt of some collusion... I just hope they can prove it.
    StrangeDaysjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 34
    tzeshan said:
    The law firm forgot to include Apple in the law suit. Apple doubled the base memory of iPhone to 32 GB from 16 GB in iPhone 7. Since Apple is the leader in smartphone, all Android smartphone copycats followed. This caused a tremendous increase in NAND demand thus a supply demand imbalance. Similar thing happened in DRAM. 

    What does increasing NAND from 16GB to 32GB have to do with a class action lawsuit involving DRAM?
    baconstangmagman1979SpamSandwichStrangeDaysh2pjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 34
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,719member
    tzeshan said:
    The law firm forgot to include Apple in the law suit. Apple doubled the base memory of iPhone to 32 GB from 16 GB in iPhone 7. Since Apple is the leader in smartphone, all Android smartphone copycats followed. This caused a tremendous increase in NAND demand thus a supply demand imbalance. Similar thing happened in DRAM. 

    What does increasing NAND from 16GB to 32GB have to do with a class action lawsuit involving DRAM?
    I said Similar thing happened in DRAM. You don't know smartphones use DRAM too? 
  • Reply 11 of 34
    nunzynunzy Posts: 647member
    The lawyers get rich and the plaintiffs get nothing.

    Samsung did something wrong? Who saw that one coming?  /s
    zeus423h2pRobPalmer9watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 34
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,719member

    bkkcanuck said:
    tzeshan said:
    macseeker said:
    tzeshan said:
    The law firm forgot to include Apple in the law suit. Apple doubled the base memory of iPhone to 32 GB from 16 GB in iPhone 7. Since Apple is the leader in smartphone, all Android smartphone copycats followed. This caused a tremendous increase in NAND demand thus a supply demand imbalance. Similar thing happened in DRAM. 
    Aple is not a manufacturer of DRAM.  Thus Apple was excluded.
    The defendant only has to prove that Apple and all other Android smartphone makers caused tremendous demand. The lawsuit failed to say how Samsung and others decreased production. The lawsuit has no merit. 
    The same law firm was behind a prior lawsuit that won -- and some of the culprits did some prison time (probably not much).  The effect of the lawsuit did eventually cause a correction in prices.  As such, I do hold some hope... but not in the short-term.  The other factor is that if the Korean companies continue to collude to hold down production - the Chinese will eventually cause them to regret it (unfortunately it won't be for several years at the earliest).  I have no doubt of some collusion... I just hope they can prove it.
    Even the previous lawsuit has no merit. DRAM is a cyclical commodity, Its price varies a lot according to supply and demand. But high tech changes many times cannot be predicted. Who can predict the birth of iPhone before 2007 besides Steve Jobs. DRAM makers are subject to miscalculation. But the lawyers can win. This is sad. Because all they need is to find some mishandling of the price. Very few corporation can do things perfectly. Sometimes they have bad employees like Apple fired many for leaking. 
  • Reply 13 of 34
    ktappektappe Posts: 752member
    tzeshan said:
    The lawsuit has no merit. 

    I like how you're conveniently ignoring the part of the article which noted that once China started looking into the situation, the 3 companies' behavior "changed abruptly". That smells very heavily of "merit".
    bkkcanuckericthehalfbeemagman1979StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 34
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,137member
    tzeshan said:
    tzeshan said:
    The law firm forgot to include Apple in the law suit. Apple doubled the base memory of iPhone to 32 GB from 16 GB in iPhone 7. Since Apple is the leader in smartphone, all Android smartphone copycats followed. This caused a tremendous increase in NAND demand thus a supply demand imbalance. Similar thing happened in DRAM. 

    What does increasing NAND from 16GB to 32GB have to do with a class action lawsuit involving DRAM?
    I said Similar thing happened in DRAM. You don't know smartphones use DRAM too? 
    WTF?! Are you saying hat because the 13" iPad Pro came with 4 GiB RAM while the 11" iPad Pro came with 2 GiB RAM that Apple was part of a mult-corporation, price-fixing oligopoly to force you to buy more RAM on an A-Series chip than you wanted? That sounds insane to me.
    baconstangnetroxmagman1979teejay2012StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 34
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,719member
    Soli said:
    tzeshan said:
    tzeshan said:
    The law firm forgot to include Apple in the law suit. Apple doubled the base memory of iPhone to 32 GB from 16 GB in iPhone 7. Since Apple is the leader in smartphone, all Android smartphone copycats followed. This caused a tremendous increase in NAND demand thus a supply demand imbalance. Similar thing happened in DRAM. 

    What does increasing NAND from 16GB to 32GB have to do with a class action lawsuit involving DRAM?
    I said Similar thing happened in DRAM. You don't know smartphones use DRAM too? 
    WTF?! Are you saying hat because the 13" iPad Pro came with 4 GiB RAM while the 11" iPad Pro came with 2 GiB RAM that Apple was part of a mult-corporation, price-fixing oligopoly to force you to buy more RAM on an A-Series chip than you wanted? That sounds insane to me.
    Do you know that PCs sold far more units than iPad? 
  • Reply 16 of 34
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,137member
    tzeshan said:
    Soli said:
    tzeshan said:
    tzeshan said:
    The law firm forgot to include Apple in the law suit. Apple doubled the base memory of iPhone to 32 GB from 16 GB in iPhone 7. Since Apple is the leader in smartphone, all Android smartphone copycats followed. This caused a tremendous increase in NAND demand thus a supply demand imbalance. Similar thing happened in DRAM. 

    What does increasing NAND from 16GB to 32GB have to do with a class action lawsuit involving DRAM?
    I said Similar thing happened in DRAM. You don't know smartphones use DRAM too? 
    WTF?! Are you saying hat because the 13" iPad Pro came with 4 GiB RAM while the 11" iPad Pro came with 2 GiB RAM that Apple was part of a mult-corporation, price-fixing oligopoly to force you to buy more RAM on an A-Series chip than you wanted? That sounds insane to me.
    Do you know that PCs sold far more units than iPad? 
    That's the second time in this thread you made a non sequitur. Your claim was that Apple should be named for illegally screwing customer for doubling NAND capacity and then jumped to DRAM. WTF?!
    ericthehalfbeemagman1979equality72521StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 34
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    tzeshan said:
    Do you know that PCs sold far more units than iPad? 
    And if you take apples and stew them like cranberries, they taste more like prunes than rhubarb does.
    macseekermattinozbaconstangmagman1979Rayz2016macky the mackyequality72521SpamSandwichStrangeDaysbestkeptsecret
  • Reply 18 of 34
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,719member
    Soli said:
    tzeshan said:
    Soli said:
    tzeshan said:
    tzeshan said:
    The law firm forgot to include Apple in the law suit. Apple doubled the base memory of iPhone to 32 GB from 16 GB in iPhone 7. Since Apple is the leader in smartphone, all Android smartphone copycats followed. This caused a tremendous increase in NAND demand thus a supply demand imbalance. Similar thing happened in DRAM. 

    What does increasing NAND from 16GB to 32GB have to do with a class action lawsuit involving DRAM?
    I said Similar thing happened in DRAM. You don't know smartphones use DRAM too? 
    WTF?! Are you saying hat because the 13" iPad Pro came with 4 GiB RAM while the 11" iPad Pro came with 2 GiB RAM that Apple was part of a mult-corporation, price-fixing oligopoly to force you to buy more RAM on an A-Series chip than you wanted? That sounds insane to me.
    Do you know that PCs sold far more units than iPad? 
    That's the second time in this thread you made a non sequitur. Your claim was that Apple should be named for illegally screwing customer for doubling NAND capacity and then jumped to DRAM. WTF?!
    Because media always blame Apple. lol
    http://bgr.com/2016/09/02/iphone-7-vs-iphone-7-plus-ram/
    longpath
  • Reply 19 of 34
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,719member
    This article from 9/2/2016 said the DRAM and NAND price hikes are due to demand.
  • Reply 20 of 34
    Created a freakin' account for this shit... @Tzeshan please educate yourself. https://www.lehigh.edu/~inimr/computer-basics-tutorial/ramvsdiskspacehtm.htm
    magman1979equality72521Soliwatto_cobra
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