SanDisk Gets Grand Jury Subpoena

The company says the DOJ is probing possible antitrust violations in the NAND flash memory industry.
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SAN FRANCISCO --

SanDisk

(SNDK)

said it has received a grand jury subpoena, signaling that government regulators may be expanding a long-running price-fixing investigation into the flash memory market.

In a regulatory filing Friday, Milpitas, Calif.-based SanDisk disclosed that CEO Eli Harari and the company had received subpoenas from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

According to SanDisk, the subpoenas indicate "a Department of Justice investigation into possible antitrust violations in the NAND flash memory industry."

The DOJ has been active in prosecuting cases of price-fixing in the DRAM memory industry, resulting in

hundreds of millions of dollars in fines and jail sentences for executives at companies including

Samsung

,

Hynix Semiconductor

and

Infineon Technologies

(IFX)

.

Many of the DRAM companies, such as Samsung and Hynix, are also the largest producers of flash chips, a type of memory that can store data even when a machine's electric power is shut off.

Shares of SanDisk were up 2.4%, or $1.19, at $51.18 in midday trading.

SanDisk also said that it has been notified that the Canadian Competition Bureau has launched an industry-wide investigation into alleged anticompetitive activity and conduct by companies involved in flash memory.

The company said it intends to cooperate in the probes.

Additionally, the company said that it was sued last month, along with 23 other companies, in a putative class-action suit alleging a conspiracy to fix flash memory prices.