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Samsung execs to plead guilty in U.S. DRAM probe

Written by: Staff

Washington, Mar 23: Three executives with South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. have agreed to plead guilty and serve jail time as part of the U.S. Government's probe of price-fixing in the computer memory chip business, the Justice Department said on Wednesday (Mar 22, 2006).

The U.S. government has blamed the conspiracy for driving up the price of chips used in products ranging from personal computers and servers to cell phones, cameras and game consoles.

The three executives, including Samsung's senior manager of DRAM sales, each agreed to jail terms of between seven and eight months and will each pay a fine of 0,000 for their involvement in the conspiracy, the Justice Department said.

The three executives are senior DRAM sales manager Sun Woo Lee, Yeongho Kang, associate director, DRAM marketing for Samsung's U.S.

subsidiary, and Young Woo Lee, sales director for Samsung's German subsidiary.

Efforts to reach lawyers for the three were not immediately successful.

The plea agreements would mark the third set of jail terms that have resulted from the long-running price-fixing probe. Earlier this year, four Hynix Semiconductor Inc. executives pleaded guilty and, in 2004, four Infineon Technologies AG executives also did.

The Samsung executives' pleas and sentences are subject to the approval of a judge in federal court in San Francisco.

In October of last year, Samsung itself agreed to plead guilty to price-fixing and pay a 0 million fine. Fines totalling more than 1 million have resulted from the DRAM investigation.

Samsung issued a statement on Wednesday noting that the company had previously reached a settlement with the department and saying it was ''strongly committed to fair competition and ethical practices and forbids anti-competitive behavior.''


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