RAM maker Infineon have been fined $160 million dollars by the US anti-trust department for illegally fixing prices between 1999 and 2002. Infineon pled guilty, and will be paying the fine off in segments until 2009.
An Infineon rep told The Register that they had changed their ways; they'd only done this to certain OEM customers and they have "already been in contact with these customers and has achieved or is in the process of achieving settlements with all of these OEM customers."
PC makers like Dell has long raised the issue of the major RAM makers illegally maintaining high prices. Other major RAM makers - Samsung, Hynix, Micron - have also been under investigation. Dell CEO Michael Dell has described the group as a 'Cartel'. As part of Infineon's settlement with the DOJ, the 3rd largest in the division's history, the company will aid the government in investigations into the other companies.
The memory market has long been expensive and debatably over-priced. Consumers have been forced into high prices, illegally. One hopes the decision could change this.