As anticipated last month, the South Korean government is investigating Samsung for allegedly selling NAND flash memory chips to Apple at below-market prices. “We are investigating whether Samsung has been unfairly supplying flash memory chips to Apple at cheaper prices than applied to domestic music player makers,” a spokesman at the South Korean Fair Trade Commission said.
Small South Korean digital music players makers have complained that the special pricing given to Apple is allowing the company to build iPods at price points that they cannot compete with.
Analysts doubted the investigation would have serious repercussions for Samsung. “I don’t think the FTC could impose any restrictions on Samsung as it’s a common business practice for companies to offer lower prices to big-volume customers such as Apple,” said Jay Kim, an analyst at Hyundai Securities.