Japanese chip makers say they suspect dumping by Korean firms
By Kuriko Miyake
(IDG) -- NEC, Mitsubishi Electric, Hitachi and Toshiba have declined to comment in detail on a newspaper report that they plan to file a complaint with the Japanese government accusing two South Korean companies of dumping DRAM (dynamic random access memory) chips onto the Japanese market.
But the four companies conceded that they are investigating measures to halt falling prices of DRAM, and one of the possible measures is filing a complaint, they say.
A report in Wednesday morning's edition of Nihon Keizai Shimbun says the four companies intend to file a complaint against Hynix Semiconductor and Samsung Electronics.
"Considering how bad the current DRAM market is, dumping is definitely being done," says an NEC spokesman, who declines to give his name. "We are seeking every possible measure, including filing a complaint on dumping," he says.
Hitachi and the three other companies are in talks about possible legal procedures, says Masanao Sato, a Hitachi spokesman. However, he offers no comment regarding the legal procedures in detail.
Mitsubishi Electric and Toshiba representatives say they're investigating measures to cope with falling prices of DRAM and Mitsubishi Electric says filing a dumping suit is "one possibility."
Toshiba is still at the very first step of its investigation, says Toshiba's Kenichi Sugiyama. "The company feels it needs to take some kind of actions against the current DRAM market's condition, however, our investigation is still within the company and we are not singling out any South Korean companies alone but any company that is likely dumping the prices," he says.
The sluggish global DRAM market conditions will continue, according to market research company Dataquest. The estimated $31.5 billion worldwide sales for 2000 are expected to drop to $10.5 billion this year, and to $8.5 billion, says the company in the summary of a new report.
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