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Cold Water in Warm Increase of D-RAM price

Posted June. 20, 2002 23:05,   


As the unfavorable factors of US market have influenced an international semiconductor industry, domestic companies become tense.

United States Department of Justice started to investigate whether major memory semiconductor companies in the world violate ‘Antitrust Law’. So, Samsung and Hynix try to take countermeasures such as designating a lawyer to a field organization in US.

Semiconductor industries of US and Japan was used to call for the investigation of Anti-Dumping on Korea semiconductor companies in 1990’s and last year respectively. However, this is the first time to investigate ‘Antitrust’.

Domestic semiconductor companies and analysts are sanguine about the short-term drop of stock price, but concerned about that it can influence in the increase of D Ram price in the second half of the year. Also, it is estimated that the investigation is backed up by PC companies in US.

US PC companies demanded the price decrease from international semiconductor companies, but this request was not acceptable. For this reason, a analysis shows that there is a contest of strength between PC companies and semiconductor companies. US PC companies insists that the price of 128 mega D-RAM between the end of the last year and the beginning of the year increased to USD 5 from USD 1 per unit because of prearrangement of semiconductor companies.

“We decreased the supply quantity by company because of depression, but the prearrangement is an outrageous and ridiculous lie” rebutted semiconductor companies.

There are many skeptical views on destruction of investigation on semiconductors.

Lim Hong-bin, analyst of Samsung Securities, said “It is hard to prove the price prearrangement. I am doubtful whether this investigation is effective”. “Investigation of United States Department of Justice cannot finally get the satisfactory results” reported the Britain Financial Times on June 19.

Even if the partial price prearrangement is true, Samsung and Hynix will suffer sanctions such as instituting to WTO or monetary penalty. Kim Seongin, analyst of Dongwon Economics Research Institute, said “Because the price prearrangement can hardly be proved, this investigation may be executed to kill Hynix”.

There is something inexplicable in that Micron firstly disclosed the disadvantageous investigation fact.

Yeon-Su Shin ysshin@donga.com