This is a letter to my senators, with much assistance from your letter. Your letter was excellent and very much appreciated I just felt the need to say some things in my own words.
The Honorable Pete V. Domenici
United States Senate
328 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-3101
Dear Senator Domenici,
I am writing you regarding an ongoing enforcement action by the FTC against Rambus, Inc. In June 2002 at the behest of Micron and Hynix, two DRAM manufacturers, the FTC filed a complaint against Rambus alleging that Rambus engaged in a pattern of anticompetitive and exclusionary acts and practices constituting unfair methods of competition. The trial, presided over by the FTC�s chief administrative law judge was completed in October 2003. It was the longest and most expensive trial in FTC history (outside consultants alone cost the government 1.1 million dollars). In February 2004 the judge produced a 340 page document called an initial decision which completely exonerated Rambus of any wrongdoing. The judge even went on to suggest that the testimony of many of the witnesses for the prosecution was less than truthful. The FTC commission has the final say in all FTC proceedings and must either accept or reject the initial decision. It has been over 2 years and the FTC has yet to decide. I have to ask why not?
During this same period the Department of Justice has been actively conducting an investigation of price fixing within the DRAM industry. This investigation has led to guilty pleas by Micron, Hynix, Samsung, Infineon, and Elpida, with over 700 million dollars in fines, and prison terms for some employees. Also a number of highly incriminating documents were produced during discovery in this investigation. Unfortunately, these documents only became known after the FTC trial completed. They provide conclusive evidence that the DRAM manufacturers colluded to drive Rambus out of business, they got together and talked about it and, together they fixed prices, together they restricted production, and together they filed simultaneous lawsuits against Rambus all across the country. Finally, the documents provide proof that the CEO of Micron, Steve Appleton, committed perjury during his testimony to the FTC.
The FTC knows about these documents but they have not asked the DOJ for them and Rambus has been prevented from providing them because they are under seal. Still the FTC hasn�t made a decision, they haven't concluded the case against Rambus and they haven't initiated any action against the real criminals in this story. Once again, I have to ask why not? They are just waiting, hoping that something, anything, will be found that they can used to convict Rambus.
Which brings me to the point of this letter, I am requesting a congressional investigation of the FTC. The following facts lead me to believe the FTC is being manipulated by Micron Technology through their political connections in an attempt to crush Rambus.
1. The FTC case was brought at the behest of Micron Technology and Hynix Corp. A nonprofit group, the Voluntary Trade Council, requested disclosure of documents related to the FTC�s case against Rambus under FOIA claiming ���.There is substantial evidence that suggests the FTC conspired with 3 memory manufacturers to destroy Rambus through regulatory litigation.�. The FTC denied this request and the Voluntary Trade Council has appealed.
2. William Baer, the former director of the FTC Bureau of Competition now works for Arnold and Porter where he has represented Micron in their litigation against Rambus.
3. Timothy Muris, FTC Chairman from June 2001 to 2004 left the FTC for undisclosed reasons and later joined the Law Firm of O�Melveny and Myers who represented Hynix in the FTC case against Rambus.
Good letter-- couple of suggestions.
Don't assume that a sen or his staff know what "DRAM" means. Spell it out, and characterize it as, "commonly known as memory for all consumer personal computers and other products."
For an excellent example of how to write simply about technology issue, read WSJ articles on the industry. They never assume that these terms are understood by their readers.
Beware of opening paras that run on for more than about a column inch of verticle spacing. Use a short punchy opening sentence, and never use run on sentences or paras more than 2 sentences long (esp for the opening para). Most people see a block of text and their eyes glaze over. If you have to use a long para, break it into bullets and make each bullet heading and topic sentence descriptive, using active verbs.
I'll consider it. I'm leery of sending something to a journalist. Always afraid I may have mistakenly said something which is not true and end up getting sued for libel. For that matter I could get sued whether I'm wrong or not, either way I would be bankrupted.
But I'm glad you liked the letter.
4. Sean Royall, Deputy Director of the FTC Bureau of Competition June 2001 to 2003, left for undisclosed reasons. When he was appointed by Mr. Muris he was a partner at Gibson Dunn and Crutcher LLP in Los Angeles which represents Micron Technology. He acted as the chief prosecutor in the FTC case against Rambus. Upon completion of arguments in the case Mr. Royall resigned from the FTC and returned to Gibson and Dunn where he was made a partner. Who paid for his services? The FTC won�t say.
5. Robert Pitofsky, FTC Chairman 1995 to 2001 upon retirement from the FTC joined Arnold and Porter, key Rambus antagonists in the FTC case.
6. On 5/11/04 FTC Chairman Muris announced his plan to leave and be replaced by Deborah Majoras who at the time was employed by another law firm with a stake in the case versus Rambus.
7. Amicus Curiae Brief in support of the FTC Complaint Council�s Appeal was filed by Economics Professors and Scholars whose primary author was paid by Micron Technology.
8. On 4/22/2004 the original version of an FTC Complaint Council document appears to have been prepared by Micron lawyers. �Corrected� version appears 5/14/2004.
9. Congressman C.L. Otter is on the subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection which has oversight of the FTC. Congressman Otter has had a 30 year involvement with J.R. Simplot, the founder of Micron. Various members of the Simplot family paid Congressman Otter $237,371 in 2002 (twice his congressional salary).
This injustice has gone on far too long and is not over yet. As you have probably guessed I am a very unhappy Rambus shareholder, but I am also a constituent and I need your help. Please Senator, help shed some light on the FTC. They have betrayed their mandate to ensure competition in the marketplace for the benefit of one single company which happens to have tremendous political clout.
Albuquerque, NM 87112
Cc: Senator Jeff Bingaman
I am new in Rmbs. But I am really shocked to read your posts and found, if what your said in your letter is true, the whole thing handled by the FTC are really astounding
If I were your senator, I would be shocked too.
Since this is more like criminal rather than
civic, I just wonder why you only sent your letter to your senator but not to other
governmental departments such as the Justice
Department or even to the FBI requesting for
investigation. I think the press would also love to find out the truth too.
One more thing, you must forgive me to say,
I am still doubtful about the whole story as
mentioned in your letter. For this kind of
blatant corruption, it won't happen even in
a country like China, Hong Kong and 100%
impossible in Singapore. And now we are
talking about a well developped country such
as USA. Is it possible ?. And then in case it is true, is there any governmental department which can stop it or it can do whatever they want in the years to come. As someone posted here, FTC has been holding on their position for 2 and half years already after their loss of trial against Rmbs. It looks like even President Bush can't do anything about it.
Is it ?
Do you mind if I send this as is to my representatives? It is very well written. If you concur, I will send by e-mail and snail mail.
Either way, I appreciate the time you put into it.