For the three major memory giants, the trouble may not only reduce the price of memory. At the end of last year, China launched an anti-monopoly investigation of the memory industry. All three vendors accepted the inquiry from the regulatory authorities. Now the EU is also coming to the door, and the European Commission will also Investigate whether there are monopolistic behaviors among the three major memory vendors. In 2010, the EU has issued a large amount of fines for the monopoly of memory prices.
In the EU's antitrust investigation list, Intel, Google,MicrosoftUS companies such as Facebook are frequent visitors to the European Union, and Samsung is no exception, from monitors to smart ICs.Mobile phoneAll products have encountered anti-monopoly investigations in the EU, and memory anti-monopoly is not the first time. In May 2010, the EU issued a $400 million ticket for nine companies including Samsung, Hynix, Infineon and Elpida. The reason is that these nine companies have established price alliances, of which Samsung is the most fined, accounting for nearly half of the total fine.
Compared with 9 years ago, the memory market is now more oligopoly. At the time, there were 9 memory chip manufacturers being punished, but the previous list of Infineon, Elpida, NEC,ToshibaHitachi is either bankrupt, either acquired, or has withdrawn from the memory market. Today, the memory market is dominated by Samsung, SK Hynix and Micron, with the three accounting for more than 95% of the global market.
At the beginning of the memory price increase in 2016, some analysts believe that this global memory shortage is not entirely a market factor. It is suspected that there are many people who control the price behind it, but the anti-monopoly investigation often goes through many years of investigation. It is not easy to come up with convincing results. The EU's anti-monopoly investigation is just beginning to ask questions, and it is too early to say how it will move in the future.
Before the European Union, the anti-monopoly department of the Ministry of Commerce of China once investigated three major manufacturers. At that time, there were media reports that China's anti-monopoly agencies sent several working groups to Samsung, Hynix and Micron in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. The office launched a "raid investigation" and on-site forensics, marking the official investigation of the three anti-monopoly agencies in China.
If they are punished according to Articles 46, 47, and 49 of the Chinese Anti-Monopoly Law, they will be fined 1%-10% of the previous year's sales, and need to consider illegal activities. Duration, so starting from 2016, the antitrust fines of the three companies are expected to be between $8 and $8 billion.