Infineon Executives Plead Guilty in DRAM Price-Fixing

December 02, 2004 by Jeff Shepard

Four executives at Infineon Technologies AG (Germany) and its US subsidiary, Infineon Technologies North America Corp., are to plead guilty to participating in an international conspiracy to fix prices in the DRAM market, according to the US Department of Justice (DoJ).

A one-count felony charge has been filed in the US District Court in San Francisco against Heinrich Florian, Günter Hefner, Peter Schaefer and T. Rudd Corwin for participating in a conspiracy to fix the prices of DRAM sold to certain computer and server manufacturers.

Under the plea agreements by the four, which must be approved by the court, the executives have each agreed to serve between four and six months in prison, pay a $250,000 criminal fine, and assist the government in its ongoing DRAM investigation.

In September, Infineon pleaded guilty to a charge of participating in the conspiracy and was sentenced to pay a $160 million criminal fine — the third largest fine in antitrust history. The four Infineon executives have been charged with violating Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act, carrying a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $350,000 fine for individuals for violations occurring before June 22.