Micron Faces 26 Antitrust Lawsuits
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BOISE, Idaho (AP) _ Micron Technology Inc. said Wednesday that 26 class-action lawsuits have been filed against the company relating to a Department of Justice investigation into alleged anticompetitive practices.
In its annual report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Micron said it received a federal grand jury subpoena in June seeking information about possible antitrust violations in the ``dynamic random access memory″ or ``DRAM″ industry.
Following the announcement of the investigation, at least 21 class action lawsuits were filed against Micron and other memory chip suppliers in federal and state courts nationwide. Micron declined to comment beyond its SEC filing.
``We’re cooperating with the investigation but that’s as much as I can say because it’s ongoing,″ Micron spokesman Sean Mahoney said Wednesday.
Micron shares fell 14.5 percent, or $2.11, to close at $12.44 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.
Also on Wednesday, a federal judicial panel transferred the first antitrust case against the chip makers from New York to San Francisco.
The lawsuits allege violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act and other federal and state laws relating to the sale and pricing of memory products.
The lawsuits allege that Micron and other manufactures of DRAM chips secretly agreed to cut production and artificially raise prices in late 2001 and early 2002.
Micron is the world’s second-largest computer memory chip maker, after Samsung. At the same time that the plaintiffs allege price fixing took place, Micron was unsuccessfully trying to buy South Korea’s Hynix Semiconductor, the third-largest memory chip maker.