The world's largest memory chipmaker, Samsung Electronics Co. has agreed to pay $90 to settle price-fixing lawsuits brought on by 41 states.
The South Korean firm also agreed to assist other US states litigating against other computer chip manufacturers who may be involved.
A federal investigation into the conspiracy began with the U.S. Justice Department in 2002. It uncovered one of the largest price-fixing schemes in history. A class action suit by the states against the firms was filed in July of 2006.
Consumers, states and localities were victims of an international conspiracy that artificially raised the price of memory chips, and thus illegally boosted the price of computers and popular hi-tech products, said Andrew Cuomo, New Yorkâ€™s Attorney-general.
The suit had charged that Samsung, and other memory makers including Infineon, Hynix, Elpida, reached secret agreements to inflate the prices of memory chips commonly installed in consumer desktop and notebook PCs.
Thus far, the investigation has resulted in over $730 million in criminal fines and guilty pleas from the companies involved.