The fifth Samsung executive has agreed to a 10-month prison sentence, pleading guilty to conspiring with other companies to fix DRAM prices. Since 2003, the ongoing U.S. Department of Justice investigation has charged four vendors in the scandal. While Samsung already pleaded guilty and was fined $300 million a year ago, this latest plea relates to OEM price-fixing over 2001 and 2002; if you bought a computer from Dell, HP, Gateway, or Apple, those companies likely passed the extra costs on to you.
Once a product becomes a commodity -- like RAM -- the pressure for collusion seems to rise because price is the main product difference; all vendors lose in a price war. We don't think that video cards and GPUs are interchangeable like RAM, but is the graphic industry using similar tricks?
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