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It is not a secret that makers of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) sold their products below or at manufacturing cost for the vast part of the last year and in a bid to boost prices started to cut down production at the end of Q3 2013. As expected, the prices went up rather significantly and now customers of DRAM makers accuse them of artificial price manipulation.

“It is quite strange that the global memory chip market is seeing unexpected price rises amid less demand for conventional personal computers. It is highly possible that the chipmakers are engaged in price-fixing,” an executive of a South Korean electronics firm told the Korea Times web-site.

There are currently three big suppliers of DRAM: Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix Semiconductor as well as Micron Technology which already controls shipments of Elpida Memory as it finalizes the acquisition of the company. All three suppliers have reduced production of DRAM to stabilize pricing, which increased contract prices of DRAM by 35% since November, according to DRAMeXchange market tracking firm. However, Micron is facing the most significant critics from the South Korean clients.

“Among other firms, Micron Technology is apparently using its commanding position to manipulate computer chip prices. We are watching it closely,” said the person who wished to remain anonymous.

In addition to reducing production of commodity DRAMs, memory makers are boosting output of various mobile types of memory, such as LPDDR2 and LPDDR3 that are used in smartphones and tablets. As a result, while the demand for PCs is weak, the prices of commodity memory are growing. Moreover, since the demand towards mobile products is high, the LPDDR memory remains rather expensive as well.

“Seeing these data, I personally believe there is a possibility that producers could be engaged in a pattern of anti-competitive acts and practices as they did in the past, resulting in adverse effects on consumers,” another DRAM customer said.

Tags: DRAM, Business, DDR2, DDR3, Samsung, SK Hynix, Micron, Elpida, Powerchip Semiconductor, Inotera, Nanya

Discussion

Comments currently: 2
Discussion started: 03/12/13 06:20:50 AM
Latest comment: 03/20/13 12:58:53 PM

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1. 
This is laughable... The part about selling RAM below cost for most of last year. No one is selling nor did they sell RAM or LCD screens below cost though both industries have been convicted of price fixing in recent years. Just as HDD makers falsely inflated prices after the Asian typhoon, RAM makers are fully interested in manipulating product pricing.

These companies have learned well from the oil Cabal commonly referred to as OPEC who continue to rape the world - because they can. Just as there was no shortage of RAM, HDDs or LCD screens, there is no shortage of crude. You can buy all you want if you're willing to pay the eye watering, blackmailing price.

Consumers are for the most part braindead and they deserve what they get if they are unwilling to fight back against price raping by all industries. The laws of supply and demand work if you work them. The industry rapists are working them to your disadvantage.
0 0 [Posted by: beenthere  | Date: 03/12/13 06:20:50 AM]
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2. 
This is true, i cant find any ram at normal prices in my country(est europe) everything is out of stock everywhere!!! , but you can find of course some that are in stock but double the price; $100 for a low end 1333mhz 2x4gb kit is just ridiculous(the cheapest in stock); first HDDs and now this, this world is getting worse every day.
0 0 [Posted by: jker  | Date: 03/20/13 12:58:53 PM]
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