HITACHI-LG DATA STORAGE SUED OVER PRICE-FIXING ALLEGATIONS

(The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by the Office of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi
and received via electronic mail. The release was confirmed by
the sender.) 
Attorney General Bondi’s Office Sues Hitachi-LG Data Storage, Inc. and
Hitachi-LG Data Storage Korea, Inc. Over Price-Fixing Allegations 
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office has sued an optical
disc drive (ODD) maker over price-fixing allegations. The complaint alleges
that Hitachi-LG Data Storage, Inc. and its subsidiary, Hitachi-LG Data
Storage Korea, Inc., participated in meetings, discussions, and
communications to share competitively sensitive information, such as
prices, sales, production, and bidding information in order to rig bids for
ODDs sold to Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Company, and Microsoft Corporation.
ODDs are used to read and record data on optical disks, such as CDs and
DVDs. ODDs are commonly found in computers and video game consoles.
Additionally, some ODDs are designed to be attached externally to devices,
such as computers. 
“Price-fixing hurts healthy business competition and costs Florida’s
businesses, consumers, and governmental agencies by requiring them to pay
higher prices for products,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “My office
is committed to protecting Floridians, and we will work to obtain relief
for those affected by this alleged price-fixing scheme.” 
Hitachi-LG Data Storage, Inc. was charged with a 15-count felony charge by
the United States Department of Justice in the United States District Court
in San Francisco in September 2011. Hitachi-LG Data Storage, Inc.
subsequently paid a $21.1 million criminal fine and pleaded guilty to
bid-rigging and price-fixing of ODDs. 
In its complaint, the Attorney General's Office is seeking equitable
relief, damages, and civil penalties for Florida consumers, businesses, and
governmental entities. 
The complaint alleges that other companies participated as co-conspirators
in the price-fixing conspiracy, including Hitachi, Ltd., LG Electronics,
Inc., BenQ Corporation, BenQ America Corporation, Koninklijke Philips
Electronics N.V., Lite-On IT Corporation, Philips & Lite-On Digital
Solutions Corporation, Philips & Lite-On Digital Solutions USA, Inc., Sony
Corporation, NEC Corporation, Sony NEC Optiarc, Inc., Sony Optiarc, Inc.,
Sony Optiarc America, Inc., Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Toshiba
Corporation, Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology Corporation, Toshiba
Samsung Storage Technology Corporation Korea, Panasonic Corporation,
Panasonic Corporation of North America, TEAC Corporation, TEAC America
Inc., Quanta Storage Inc., and Quanta Storage America, Inc. 
(rml) NY 
 
 
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