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States settle chip suit

| June 27, 2010 9:00 PM

BOISE (AP) - Idaho and 32 other states will share in a $173 million settlement with six international manufacturers, including Boise-based Micron Technology Inc., who were accused of price fixing related to the sale of Dynamic Random Access Memory computer chips.

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said Thursday the amount of money to be distributed to consumers, businesses, the state and local governments has not yet been determined.

"I appreciate that the manufacturers worked with the states to reach an agreement to address our concerns and resolve this matter," Wasden said.

In July 2006, the multistate group sued in federal court, alleging that consumers and state agencies overpaid for products containing the chips.

The manufacturers did not admit to any violations.

Wasden said the agreement still needs court approval.

"Idaho's governments, businesses and consumers spend sizable amounts of money for computers and other products containing DRAM," Wasden said.

"When those costs are inflated by unlawful anticompetitive practices, as we have alleged in this case, we have a duty to the taxpayers and consumers to recover their money and end the unlawful activity."

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