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Sunday, October 16, 2005, 09:00 am PT (12:00 pm ET)

Apple drops $3.8B investment plan with Samsung

Apple Computer has voided a $3.8 billion joint investment plan with Samsung Electronics, according to a report published on Saturday.

The partnership had covered flash memory chips used in Apple's iPod digital music player devices, according to Seoul-based Korean Economic Daily.

"Apple had proposed about 4 trillion won joint investment with Samsung Electronics in the production lines of NAND flash chips used for its MP3 players," a senior Samsung official was quote as saying.

"But as the anti-Samsung sentiment has recently deepened among some political and civic groups, Apple ended the talks, complaining about the sentiment," the unnamed official was cited as saying.

Apple is now reportedly in talks with another memory chip maker for joint flash chip output in the United States.

Earlier this week, Samsung Electronics and its U.S. subsidiary pleaded guilty to price fixing charges and agreed to pay a $300 million fine for taking part in a conspiracy to fix the prices of semiconductors for computers and other electronics.

Both Apple and Samsung may be investigated by the Korean government for possible antitrust violations as a result of the conspiracy.