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Wednesday, November 09, 2011
Hitachi-LG Fined With $21.1 Million Over Criminal Probe

The U.S. District Court in San Fransisco on Tuesday accepted the plea from Hitachi-LG Data Storage and sentenced the company to a $21.1 million fine, after pleaded guilty in a price fixing probe related to optical disc drives.

A 15-count felony charge was filed late September in U.S. District Court in San Francisco against Hitachi-LG Data Storage, a joint venture between Hitachi Ltd., and LG Electronics Inc. Of the 14 counts, seven charged Hitachi-LG Data Storage with conspiring with others to suppress and eliminate competition by rigging bids on optical disk drives sold to Dell; six counts charged Hitachi-LG Data Storage with rigging bids on optical disk drives sold to Hewlett-Packard; and one count charged Hitachi-LG Data Storage with conspiring with others to fix the prices of optical disk drives sold to Microsoft. The final count charged Hitachi-LG Data Storage for its participation in a scheme to defraud HP in an April 2009 optical disk drive procurement event.

District Judge Richard Seeborg accepted the plea from the company on Tuesday at a hearing in San Francisco. He sentenced the company to a $21.1 million fine.

Under the approved plea agreement, Hitachi-LG Data Storage had agreed to assist the U.S. Department of Justice in its ongoing investigation into the optical disk drive industry.

Sony and Toshiba had also received subpoenas from the Justice Department related to the investigation of sales of optical disc drives.

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