12/1/2005

Samsung pleads guilty in price-fixing case

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Samsung, the world’s largest maker of computer memory chips, has pleaded guilty to a charge it conspired with other companies to fix the price of chips used in personal computers and other electronic devices, boosting the cost to consumers.

After accepting the plea and a previously arranged deal with prosecutors on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton ordered Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and its U.S. subsidiary, Samsung Semiconductor Inc., to pay $300 million - the second-largest fine in a criminal antitrust case.

It was the culmination of a three-year investigation into price fluctuations in the dynamic random access memory market from April 1999 to June 2002. Prosecutors said Samsung, which is based in Seoul, South Korea, and other companies engaged in price fixing through e-mails, telephone calls and in-person meetings.

Source: AP

Skype 2.0 offers free video calling

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Skype is upgrading its popular Internet telephone service to add video calling and a toolbar for Microsoft Outlook to find and dial contacts with a click.

The long-promised “2.0″ edition was launched Thursday by Skype, which was acquired last month by Internet auctioneer eBay Inc. for an eye-popping $2.6 billion.

While the Windows download is available to any user, the application is actually a Beta version, meaning the company is still tweaking the software into a final edition. Skype did not provide a timetable for the final edition or the planned release of a version for the Macintosh operating system from Apple Computer Inc.

The video feature will not cost extra, so Skype’s trademark computer-to-computer calls will remain free (Fees apply to calls to traditional and cell phones).

Source: AP

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