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13 optical drive companies accused of price fixing



/ 4 years ago

When it comes down to building a system, putting in an optical drive is not only the cheapest part of the system for most but it is also a dying trend as digital downloads replace DVDs and USB drives can be used to install operating systems. Even though these cheap and cheerful components cost around £15/€20 (DVD-RW) (or around £60/€70 for the more expensive and uncommon Blu-Ray), companies have still reportedly been involved in price fixing by the European Commission.

According to the European Commission (EC), 13 optical disc drive vendors may have conspired to fix prices of their products on a international scale, and that obviously affects the EU significantly as the EU is one of the biggest markets for computer hardware.

The European Commission is investigating 13 vendors and 2 pre-built PC OEM companies for participating in a “bid rigging scheme” – recognised as a very serious antitrust violation that if proved to be true could result in some seriously big fines and disciplinary actions.

In bid rigging schemes, the bidders and contractees conspire to rig their prices so that a particular supplier wins the bid. The possibly penalty for this case could be as much as 10% of worldwide turnover from the sale of optical drives should the European Commission win its case.

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