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Sony, Toshiba, Hitachi face optical drive antitrust probe

Posted at 30 October 2009 13:13 CEST by AdamT

The United States Department of Justice is investigating the optical drive divisions of  Sony, Toshiba and Hitachi due to antitrust concerns.

As part of a greater focus on component makers, the DoJ has issued subpoenas to Sony Optiarc, Hitachi-LG Data Storage and Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology – which account for almost two thirds of the US optical drive market, including DVD and Blu-ray.

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The three companies have indicated they will cooperate with the investigations. Toshiba’s optical business is 51 percent owned by Samsung, while Hitachi’s optical business is 51 percent owned by LG Electronics.

Last year the justice department turned its attention to LCD makers, with LG, Sharp, Hitachi and Chunghwa fined more than half a billion dollars.  In 2002, a price-fixing probe of memory chipmakers saw four companies and 18 individuals fined $731 million.

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