The European Commission has informed thirteen companies supplying optical disk drives in the European Economic Area (EEA) of its preliminary view that they may have infringed EU antitrust rules by participating in a worldwide cartel.
The Commission has concerns that those suppliers may have coordinated their behaviour in bidding events organised by two major original equipment manufacturers for optical disk drives used in personal computers (desktops and notebooks) and in servers. The sending of a Statement of Objections does not prejudge the final outcome of the investigation.
The original press release does not list the names of the suspects, however not too many companies are still left that manufacture optical drives for PCs (OEMs) and that sell re-badged drives under their own brand.
If eventually European Commission finds that there is sufficient evidence of an infringement, fines can be about 10% of a company’s annual worldwide turnover.