Utah SC hears DRAM price-fixing case

Chris Rizo Jun. 13, 2009, 4:44am

BOISE, Idaho (Legal Newsline)-The Idaho Supreme Court is considering whether a shareholder's lawsuit against Micron Technology Inc.'s board of directors should be allowed to proceed.

Boise-based Micron has been accused of conspiring with other companies to fix the price of Dynamic Random Access Memory products, or DRAM. The state high court heard the case Friday.

The lawsuit, brought by Scott Orrock on behalf of the company, alleges that Micron CEO, President and Chairman Steven Appleton and other board members engaged in a price-fixing scheme.

His lawsuit filed as a derivative action, which allows a shareholder to sue company insiders on behalf of a corporation, claiming they failed to exercise their authority for the benefit of the company.

Although Micron was granted immunity by the U.S. Justice Department during a federal investigation into whether chip companies conspired to manipulate the number of DRAM chips released to the marketplace, the company was not protected from civil lawsuits.

Orrock claims that as early as 2000, board members chose to overlook warnings that would have alerted them to Micron's role in a DRAM price-fixing conspiracy. He said the board breached their fiduciary duties and failed to hold company leaders accountable for the price-fixing scheme.

The lawsuit was dismissed by Ada County Judge Darla Williamson because Orrock, as a company shareholder, did not demand that Micron's board take action before suing, as is required for derivative lawsuits.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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