EU probing an alleged cartel among 13 optical drives makers

The European Union has just announced the start of a new, thorough investigations against 13 different producers of optical disk drives (ODD), sending a “Statement of Objections” to what are considered “suspected participants in a cartel for the supply of computer CD and DVD drives” in the European Economic Area (EEA).

Brussels doesn’t name the companies accused of monopolistic behaviour yet, stating that the suppliers of ODD units for server, desktop and portable computers (laptops) “may have coordinated their behaviour in bidding events organised by two major original equipment manufacturers”.

According to preliminary findings from the EU, the 13 suppliers “engaged for at least five years in bid rigging, which is one of the most serious breaches of EU antitrust rules” and “affected customers that bought optical disk drives manufactured by the companies concerned”.

The European Commission explains that the sending a statement of objections is a formal step in starting a comprehensive investigation on the matter, a step needed to inform the parties concerned and to give them the chance to appear before the Commission to present their comments.

If found guilty of anti-competitive behaviour, the Commission explains, the yet-to-be-named companies could face a huge fine amounting to up to 10% of their annual worldwide turnover.

Source: European Union Press Release

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