"You over-charged us. We want triple damages." That's the essence of an Oracle lawsuit against Micron, filed last Friday in San Jose.
As reported by Bloomberg, Oracle, the well-known touchy-feely company, claims Micron over-charged it when its acquired Sun business bought some $2bn of DRAM chips in the 1998 - 2002 period.
In 2002, Boise, Idaho-based Micron, Hynix, Infineon, Samsung, Elpida and other chip-makers were investigated by the US Justice department for conspiring to over-charge for DRAM chips. Micron co-operated and wasn't named in the criminal case. The named conspirators settled in 2006/2007 and paid a reported $731m in fines, with some execs going to jail.
Micron co-operated with European regulators in a similar case earlier this year, and wasn't charged this side of the pond either. However it has paid out some $80m to settle other DRAM price-fixing lawsuits in the USA. Now along comes uncle Larry wanting his money back.
Sun previously sued some of the DRAMurai in 2006 and settled with some of them. Micron wasn't involved at that time.
The Oracle suit, Oracle America Inc. v. Micron Technology Inc., 10-04340, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose), is looking for unspecified but triple damages under US and California anti-trust legislation. ®