Legal Issues

by Carlo Longino

FTC Says Rambus Monopolized Memory Tech Market

from the setbacks dept

The FTC has announced that it unanimously ruled Rambus did indeed break antitrust rules by misleading an SDRAM standards organization -- capping a fight that's stretched back several years, and centered on allegations that the company fought for certain technologies to be included in the standard, only revealing it had patented them after the fact when it started demanding high licensing fees for their use. The FTC hasn't yet decided on a punishment, and Rambus says it will appeal if it feels a remedy is too harsh (which would seem to indicate an appeal is almost inevitable). It's possible the company will have to pay significant damages, and apparently one FTC lawyer has said the company should ditch its royalty demands. While the ruling should give the company's critics more ammunition, be sure to check back for the comments to this post, where the roving pack of rabid Rambus investors will undoubtedly come and insult us, allege a hidden agenda, and explain how the FTC is part of some grand conspiracy aligned against them and the company.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2006 @ 11:20am

    "I don't follow your comment at all. Manufacturers do not purchase memory for themselves, but to package and sell to consumers."

    That's like saying food comes from the grocery store, so you don't need to care about farmers. Manufacturers don't purchase memory for consumers, either. They build it, and for the right to build it (in any quantity) they had to first pay unfair liscensing fees.

    I do understand where you're coming from, though. Even with a $100Million liscense fee, when spread over 100Million units, only amounts to only $1 per piece, 100% of which was passed on to individual consumers.

    In this way no individual consumer was harmed that greatly, but manufacturers had to pay a lot of the money they earned to rambus, and they may have sold more if they were able to have the price just a little lower.

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