The DOJ recently announced that during the 2006 fiscal year (ended September 30) it imposed antitrust criminal fines totaling over US$473 million. This represents a 40 percent increase over the FY 2005 total, and is the second-highest annual total ever imposed by the agency. The totals were boosted considerably by two large fines imposed as part of the investigation into price fixing of dynamic random access memory (DRAM). Samsung Electronics Company agreed to pay a US$300 million fine – the second-largest antitrust criminal fine in US history – while Elpida Memory, Inc. (Elpida), agreed to pay a US$84 million fine. DOJ also imposed 5,383 days of jail time for antitrust violations in FY 2006.
In merger enforcement, DOJ reported 1,860 premerger filings under the HSR Act during FY 2006, an increase of 8.9 percent over FY 2005. DOJ reports it initiated 10 merger enforcement actions, and an additional six transactions were restructured by the parties in response to DOJ investigations. Meanwhile, the percentage of HSR transactions resulting in a second request dropped from 1.5 percent to just one percent.