Cartel Digest

Optical Disk Drives

Optical Disk Drives
  Overall Cartel Period 2007-2008
  Participants Hitachi-LG Data Storage Inc.
  Total Fines (DOJ) $21.1 million
  Total Fines (EC) No fines imposed

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) brought its first charge against a company for its role in a price-fixing and bid-rigging conspiracy involving the sale of optical disk drives, such as CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs.  From 2004 to 2009, Hitachi-LG Data Storage Inc. conspired with other companies to fix prices and rig bids in the sale of optical disk drives to Dell, Microsoft and HP, among others.  Among other anticompetitive behavior, cartel members would meet and agree upon bidding strategies and prices prior to attending optical disk drive procurement events hosted by Dell and HP.  The resulting bids defeated the competitive nature of the events.  The DOJ investigation into this cartel is ongoing.

 

Enforcement Highlights:

  • The DOJ imposed a $21.1 million fine on Hitachi-LG Data Storage Inc. for its role in the conspiracy, and several Hitachi executives have agreed to plead guilty.
Company Conspiracy Period Fine (USD) Plea Date No. of Excluded Individuals Plea Agreement
Hitachi-LG Data Storage Inc. 1/07-1/08 $21.1 million 09/30/2011 4 Plea Agreement
Individual Company Prison Sentence Fine (USD) Plea Date Plea Agreement
Young Keun Park, VP and Chief Marketing Officer Hitachi-LG Data Storage Inc. 8 months $25,000 12/13/2011  
Sang Hun Kim, Deputy Chief Marketing Officer Hitachi-LG Data Storage Inc. 8 months $25,000 12/13/2011  
Sik Hur, Account Leader Hitachi-LG Data Storage Inc. 7 months $25,000 12/13/2011  
Woo Jin Yang, Senior Sales Manager Hitachi-LG Data Storage Inc. 6 months $25,000 04/30/2012