Hitachi-LG Executive Agrees to Plead Guilty to Bid Rigging

Woo Jin Yang, a Hitachi-LG Data Storage Inc. sales manager for the company’s Hewlett-Packard Inc. account, agreed to plead guilty and serve six months in prison for conspiring to rig bids for optical disk drives.

The U.S. Justice Department said today that Yang worked with others to eliminate competition for sales of the drives to HP from 2006 to 2009 by meeting with co-conspirators to decide prices and bidding strategies ahead of HP procurement events. Optical disk drives use laser light or electromagnetic waves to read data.

The conduct resulted in collusive and noncompetitive bids, the agency said in an e-mail. Yang, also known as Eugene Yang, was charged with four counts of bid-rigging, according to a filing today in federal court in San Francisco. He agreed to pay a $25,000 fine, according to the e-mailed statement.

Hitachi-LG is a joint venture of Tokyo-based Hitachi Ltd. and Seoul-based LG Electronics Inc. The company pleaded guilty in November and was ordered to pay $21.1 million for bid rigging and price fixing optical disk drives, the agency said.

The case is U.S. v. Yang, 12-00309, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

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