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Infineon execs to plead guilty for price fixing

Four executives of memory chip maker Infineon Technologies AG have agreed to plead guilty to participating in a conspiracy to fix the prices of computer memory chips, the U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday.
/ Source: Reuters

Four executives of German memory chip maker Infineon Technologies AG have agreed to plead guilty to participating in a conspiracy to fix the prices of computer memory chips, the U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday.

Under the plea agreements, the four executives -- three German citizens and one U.S. citizen -- will serve time in jail, pay a fine, and assist a probe into possible price fixing in the dynamic random access memory industry, the department said in a statement.

The move comes two months after Infineon agreed to plead guilty to price-fixing charges and pay a $160 million fine.

"These four executives are the first to plead guilty to a charge of fixing prices in what is still a very active and far-reaching investigation into antitrust violations in the DRAM industry," Scott Hammond, the director of criminal enforcement for the Justice Department's antitrust department, said in a statement.

The computer memory industry is dominated by a handful of large technology companies -- Infineon, South Korea's Samsung Electronics and Hynix Semiconductor Inc. , along with U.S.-based Micron Technology Inc.

A probe launched more than two years ago by U.S. officials aimed to determine whether a conspiracy was behind the occasionally wild upward swings in prices.

A representative of Infineon did not immediately return a call for comment.