EU fines companies for colluding on disc drives deals

AP News
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Posted: Oct 21, 2015 7:28 AM
EU fines companies for colluding on disc drives deals

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Commission slapped fines totaling 116 million euros ($132 million) on eight companies Wednesday for colluding on deals to supply optical disc drives to computer companies Dell and Hewlett Packard.

The Commission said the companies illicitly colluded "to avoid aggressive competition in procurement tenders organized by Dell and HP."

It added that some company representatives — knowing their actions were illegal — met in parking lots and movie theaters to discuss tender details for supplying products such as CD and DVD drives.

"The companies in this case were well aware that their behavior was illegal and took measures to avoid being detected," said European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. "But whatever strategies companies may put in place, they will not escape our attention."

Hitachi-LG Data Storage Technology received the biggest fine — 74.2 million euros ($84.3 million), though half of it was waived due to the company's cooperation with the investigation. Philips and Lite-On also were fined as was a joint venture established by the two companies, but they had the punishments waived because they were first to reveal the existence of the cartel.

The other companies fined were Sony, Sony Optiarc, Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology and Quanta Storage.