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Sony Under Investigation by DOJ 92

Posted by Zonk
from the can't-a-megacorp-get-a-break dept.
An anonymous reader writes "As the DOJ continues its investigation into RAM price fixing, it has started looking at Sony's operations. With all the negative press Sony has been getting, this couldn't come at a worse time." From the article: "The Japanese company received a subpoena from the Justice Department's antitrust division seeking information about Sony's static random access memory, or SRAM, business, company spokesman Atsuo Omagari said. 'Sony intends to cooperate fully with the DOJ in what appears to be an industrywide inquiry,' the company said in a short statement."
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Sony Under Investigation by DOJ

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  • Ram! (Score:2, Funny)

    Ram is going to get cheaper
    Hooray! Ram! Ram! Ram! Ram!
    Cheaper, faster, bigger, smaller
    Hooray! Ram! Ram! Ram! Ram!
    Now that people aren't makin' it expensive
    Hooray! Ram! Ram! Ram! Ram!
    It's gonna get cheaper!
  • Soon we will learn that all VAIOs are made from the souls of slaughtered orphans.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...the author of TFA that's painting the ugly picture on this issue?

    "As the DOJ continues its investigation into RAM price fixing, it has started looking at Sony's operations."

    "'Sony intends to cooperate fully with the DOJ in what appears to be an industrywide inquiry,' the company said in a short statement."

    So in other words...

    DOJ: "Let's see... next on the list is... Sony, you're up."

    Greimel: "Lookit! Sony fucks up yet again, and then there's a PS3, and the 'sploding batteries, and Iwo Jima, and..."

    Really
    • by Red Flayer (890720) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @12:00PM (#16658659) Journal
      "As the DOJ continues its investigation into RAM price fixing, it has started looking at Sony's operations."
      "'Sony intends to cooperate fully with the DOJ in what appears to be an industrywide inquiry,' the company said in a short statement."
      So in other words...
      DOJ: "Let's see... next on the list is... Sony, you're up."
      Well, how could a price-fixing inquiry NOT be industry-wide? The whole mechansim of price-fixing is that you get everyone in the industry to set prices at an artificially high level. Any industry member who didn't participate would break the scheme, as long as they had the production capacity.

      So, when people say that Sony isn't being singled out, that they're just one of many... that's exactly the point of the investigation.
      • by dorianh49 (988940)
        I could be wrong, but I thought that this particular industry-wide RAM pricefixing started with Micron convincing the other memory makers to stifle Rambus by artificially DEFLATING SDRAM prices. Once Rambus was out of the picture, they started raising prices beyond the stratosphere and blamed it on a tsunami in Asia somewhere.
        • IIRC, you're absolutely right. Either way, though, it requires collusion to set the price at an artificial level in order to derive some non-competitive advantage (in this case, to drive Rambus OOB).
    • Greimel: "Lookit! Sony fucks up yet again, and then there's a PS3, and the 'sploding batteries, and Iwo Jima, and..."

      You forgot the BMG-Sony rootkit.

      I really resented that.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    'Sony intends to cooperate fully with the DOJ in what appears to be an industrywide inquiry,' the company said in a short statement.

    The DOJ is expected to find that all evidence shows Sony to be innocent, all thanks to Anne in accounts who played a recent Celine Dion CD on her workstation.

  • Nice try, Zonk. Nothing to see here, move along.
    • by OakDragon (885217)
      Nothing to see here, move along.

      Can I modify my /. settings to auto-post this for every new story? :)

      (I am not making a statement about the quality of the stories; I am making a statement about how often I've seen this lately.)

  • Wow static ram.. is that still around and used by someone?
    • by spun (1352)
      CPU Cache. Router buffers. CMOS RAM. Hard disk buffers. CD and DVD drive buffers. Static RAM is used anyplace where speed or low power consumption are important. Slow static RAM uses less power than DRAM, while fast static RAM is much faster than DRAM.
  • by Leviance (1001065)
    just another sign the God wants the PS3 to fail and the evil mother company perish.
  • Investigations into the Blue Laser shortage. Seriously though, what the heck is going on at Sony, first its the Batteries, then the "laser shortage" and overpriced console, now its price fixing? When I was a kid sony stood for unequaled quality and innovation, now it seems to stands for "might last until the warranty expires, if your lucky". What has changed?
    • by Kingrames (858416)
      So in other words...

      "Say it ain't so, Blu-Ray... Say it ain't so!"
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Don't forget the Sony CCD sensor recall which affected almost 190 digital camera and camcorder models from eight manufacturers, as well as certain other products such as PDAs with built-in digicams.
    • by j79zlr (930600)
      Shouldn't that be "might last until just before the warranty expires, if you're lucky."

      I don't find myself all that lucky when something dies right AFTER the warranty expires.
  • After their rootkits on CD's I'm surprised that the DOJ hasn't been chasing these guys more aggresively.
  • IIRC, there have been lots of articles talking about industry-wide price fixing of SRAM. Many companies actually admitted to doing so, especially in the late 90's. Just glance at the related stories.
  • Well, but isn't feasibility of imports a mitigating factor when looking for collusion evidence? I mean, is it possible to fix prices for SRAM, given its low degree of differentiation? Is the distribution channels and contracts with OEMs such a bottleneck in the downstream?
    • by R2.0 (532027)
      Collusion to fix prices is only really possible in the situation you describe: the product is a commodity. If producers can differentiate their product on something other than price - quality, location, etc - and charge more for it than the comparable products, then there is no incentive for that producer to join a price fixing scheme. But when products are a commodity, there is nowher to compete BUT on price. Hence, producers get together and artificially set the price higher than it would otherwise be,
  • Static RAM? COME ON, SLASHDOT! You aren't even trying anymore!
    • What's wrong with static RAM?

      From wikipedia: [wikipedia.org]

      SRAM is faster than DRAM and is used where speed is the prime requirement such as in CPU caches and router buffers. It is also used for external caches, DRAM burst circuits and in its dual-ported form for digital signal processing circuits. Modern FPGAs contain significant amounts of embedded SRAM.

      Slow, low-capacity SRAMs are used where low power consumption and low cost are the most important requirements, as in battery-powered backup RAM. SRAM is less dens

    • by kckman (885561)
      "Their", as in "Their time is valuable." "There" as in "There is a bear there" "They're" as in "They're running out of time" Before criticizing someone's grammar, be sure that your own is correct.
      • I think you completely missed the humour in that signature :)
        • by kckman (885561)
          Irony is best served with an LOL or ROTFLMAO. Sometimes I can't wrap my brain around grammar as humor. Thanks for the heads up
      • It makes no since that people spend there time studying English, sense its clear their not learning they're own language

        "Their", as in "Their time is valuable." "There" as in "There is a bear there" "They're" as in "They're running out of time" Before criticizing someone's grammar, be sure that your own is correct.

        woooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!!!

        Also, you missed "sense" and "it's." You completely fail at naziism.

  • With all the negative press Sony has been getting, this couldn't come at a worse time

    Or couldn't come at a better time.
  • If anybody thinks this will amount to much, really?
    "You there, at the back, you have your hand up, no? Oh it's your hat, sorry my bad."
  • That's all; just a Sony-coined phrase that has literally come full circle to describe the very company that used it to begin with.
  • Even though recently Sony has been making a lot of fudge-ups and bad press, I kind of feel bad that Sony's having to deal with this now. This is the company that fought for better quality video [wikipedia.org], made portable audio a lifestyle [wikipedia.org], and innovated/invented several concepts that we could not live without. My family and I trusted the Sony brand for years, and it will be sad to see them getting closer and closer to another great example of a management failure in our business classes.

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