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Senior Samsung exec pleads guilty to price fixing
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Written by Gizmo   
Saturday, 23 December 2006 11:32

Samsung VP of Sales Young Hwan Park has pleaded guilty to charges of price fixing, agreeing to serve 10 months jail time in the U.S. and pay US $250,000 in fines according to Officer Outlook, a publication focused on the business value of technology and international finance.

The charge against Park is that he conspired with unnamed employees at several other memory manufactures to fix the prices of DRAMS sold to certain OEMs during the period from April 1, 2001 to about June 15, 2002.  Among OEMs affected by this action were Dell, HP, Compaq, IBM, Apple, and Gateway.

Park is alleged to have carried out this price fixing by:

  • Meeting with competitors to discuss the pricing of DRAMs to be sold to certain OEMs.
  • Agreeing to certain prices for certain customers.
  • Issuing price quotes in accord with those agreements.
  • Providing competitors with information regarding memory pricing for certain customers.
  • Directing subordinates to get information from competitors regarding memory pricing for certain customers.


Park is the fifth Samsung executive to go to prison as a result of price fixing charges.  Sun Woo Lee and Yeongho Kang pleaded guilty in April, Young Woo Lee pleaded guilty in August, and Thomas Quinn (VP of Marketing for Memory Products) pleaded guilty in November.  Each is to pay a fine of $250,000 and will spend seven to eight months in prison.

Samsung is not the only company to have executives convicted, however.  In December, D. James Sogas (formerly of Elpida) pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seven months in prisonDae Soo Kim, Chae Kyun Chung, Kun Chul Suh, and Choon Yub Choi (of Hynix Semiconductor) also were sentenced to prison for between five and eight months.  T. Rudd Corwin, Peter Schaefer, Gunter Hefner, and Heinrich Florian of Infineon pleaded guilty in December 2004 and were sentenced to between four and six months.  All of them were also ordered to pay $250,000 fines.

In addition to the above, Samsung, Hynix, Elpida, and Infineon were ordered to pay $300 million, $185 million, $84 million, and $160 million respectively in fines.

 
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