[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 20 April 2007, 06:07 GMT 07:07 UK
Samsung boss admits price fixing
Workers on a Samsung semiconductor production line
Microchip production is a highly competitive industry
A sixth executive of South Korean firm Samsung Electronics has pleaded guilty in the US to charges of fixing the price of microchips.

Il Ung Kim, vice president of marketing at Samsung's memory division, has agreed to serve 14 months in a US jail, the US Justice Department said.

The chip price fixing took place during the four years to 2004, and also involved Elpida, Infineon and Hynix.

So far the four firms have paid fines totalling more than $730m (364m).

In all, 18 individuals have now been charged.

'Harming consumers'

Under his plea agreement, Mr Kim will also pay a $250,000 fine, and agree to help the Justice Department with its ongoing investigation.

Washington has blamed the price fixing scheme for artificially driving up the cost of chips used in everything from computers to mobile phones and game consoles.

"We are committed to prosecuting executives who violate US antitrust laws and harm consumers and competition in the United States," said Justice Department lawyer Thomas Barnett.

"Even when those executives conduct their cartel activity overseas."

A Samsung spokeswoman said the firm was "strongly committed to fair competition and ethical practices".


SEE ALSO
Samsung settles price-fixing case
07 Feb 07 |  Business
Samsung men 'admit' price fixing
22 Mar 06 |  Business
Memory chips hit Samsung profits
12 Jan 07 |  Business
Samsung eyes 80% rise in TV sales
08 Jan 07 |  Business

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific