The Commission has imposed fines on 10 producers of memory chips or DRAMS used in computers and servers. The total fine amount was over €331 million and signifies the first time in which the Commission has adopted a settlement decision in a cartel case. The settlement procedure was introduced in 2008 with the objective of reducing in appropriate cases the administrative procedure and investigative costs, with a view to freeing up resources to tackle other cases. The procedure rewards parties making early admissions with a fine reduction of 10%.
Settlement discussions on the DRAM case began in 2009 when all parties to the cartel indicated that they were prepared to engage in such discussions. All entered formal settlement submissions and acknowledged their liability. The Commission hopes that, following this decision, similar cases will begin to go through this settlement procedure, and have indicated their aspiration that settlement cases should take no more than six months to resolve.