SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 30 (AP) – The Samsung Electronics Company, the memory chip maker, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to participating in a price-fixing conspiracy that damaged competitors and increased computer prices.
In accordance with a plea deal in October with federal prosecutors, Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton of United States District Court in San Francisco ordered the company, which is based in South Korea, and its United States subsidiary, Samsung Semiconductor Inc., to pay a $300 million fine.
The hearing was the culmination of a three-year investigation that has resulted in guilty pleas from three of the largest makers of dynamic random access memory chips used to store information in computers and other devices.
Hynix Semiconductor Inc., also of South Korea, agreed to pay a $185 million fine earlier this year, and Infineon Technologies of Germany, agreed to pay $160 million last year. A fourth chip maker, Micron Technology of Boise, Idaho, has been cooperating with prosecutors.