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Oracle accuses Micron of fixing prices in lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Oracle Corp <ORCL.O> has sued Micron Technology Inc <MU.O> over alleged price fixing of computer memory chips as part of litigation the world's No. 3 maker of software inherited from Sun Microsystems.

Oracle accused the U.S. memory chip maker of colluding with other manufacturers to artificially inflate the price of DRAM (dynamic random access memory), according to a lawsuit filed on Friday. Between 1998 and 2002, Sun bought over $2 billion worth of DRAM, the lawsuit said.

Five of the world's top DRAM manufacturers pleaded guilty this year to a criminal price-fixing probe, but Micron received amnesty from the U.S. Department of Justice for being the first to admit its role in the cartel, according to the lawsuit.

Oracle bought Sun in 2010 for about $7 billion.

"Sun sued a number of DRAM suppliers previously, but not Micron until now," said Michael Tubach, an attorney for Korean chipmaker Hynix Semiconductor <000660.KS>.

A Micron spokesperson declined to comment, and an Oracle representative was not immediately available.

Under antitrust rules, Micron's cooperation could limit its liability in any lawsuit with Oracle, Tubach said. Micron settled a private antitrust lawsuit in 2007 for $80 million.

The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Oracle America v. Micron Technology, 10-4340.

(Reporting by Dan Levine. Editing by Robert MacMillan)

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