Negotiations about a potential joint-investment deal between Apple Computer Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd to produce NAND flash memory chips have come to an end, the Associated Press has reported.
Talks didn’t proceed beyond the preliminary stages, Samsung spokesperson Sungin Cho told the AP. We’re not commenting on the reason that talks didn’t develop.
Korea Times newspaper reported that a potential $3.8bn joint-investment deal broke down because Apple backed out after learning the South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission may investigate Samsung over its NAND flash memory chips supply to Apple.
Those chips are used in Apple’s new iPod Nano music players, among other devices and the antitrust regulator may look into whether Samsung sold them to Apple at prices that were below market.
The report came within days of federal US officials ordering Samsung to pay a $300m fine for its role in a global price-fixing conspiracy over dynamic random access, or DRAM, chips. Samsung pleaded guilty to the felony charge after the US Justice Department’s three-year-long investigation.
Samsung is the largest maker of DRAM and NAND chips.