Infineon To Pay $160 Million Antitrust Fine

By Agence France-Presse German microchip maker Infineon Technologies AG agreed to plead guilty and pay a $160 million fine for participating in "an international conspiracy to fix prices" U.S. officials said Sept. 15. Under the plea agreement, which must be approved by a judge, Infineon has agreed to cooperate with the government in its ongoing investigation of other producers of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips, the most commonly used semiconductor memory product. A one-count felony charge filed Sept. 15 in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco alleges that Infineon participated in a price-fixing scheme from July 1, 1999, to June 15, 2002, with unnamed companies. "This case sends the message that high-tech price-fixing cartels will not be tolerated -- a message reinforced by the largest criminal fine levied in a Department of Justice case in the past three years," said Attorney General John Ashcroft. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2004

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