back to article NHK Spring cops to hard drive price fixing, coughs up $28.5m fine – and promises to sing like a canary

A Japanese manufacturer that makes parts for hard disk drives has admitted to racking up millions in profits from a price-fixing scheme. US prosecutors say that from May 2008 until April 2016 NHK Spring conspired with other unnamed factories to artificially inflate the prices they charged drive makers for suspension assemblies …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DOJ is amusing

    They'll burn some low level manufacturer of soon-to-be obsolete tech for minor Sherman antitrust violations, but Google Apple Facebook Verizon AT&T Comcast et al? Er, not so much.

    Those hard drive dudes need to hire some lobbyists, pronto.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: DOJ is amusing

      If NHK's lawyers did they job right then the fine is small compared to the extra profits. Their competitors will get fines that really hurt. NHK should be able to bid the same prices as competitors but get bigger margins because of those fines. This is how component supply works.

      Google have been on the receiving end of anti-trust investigations since Microsoft's lawyers had to justify their continued existence after their spectacular win against Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson. Microsoft provided free legal advice to anyone suing Google - no matter how silly the complaint. Over the years all involved have learned from the experience. The complaints are better quality as is Google defence. Perhaps it will achieve something one day - eg Google will have to buy a president in 2032.

      Facebook got a chunky fine for privacy violations but not enough to stop further violations - presumably the data is too valuable to government. AT&T got a thorough beating decades ago. I am sure they deserve another along with Verizon and Comcast.

      The DOJ takes at least a decade to reach a verdict and another few years to pass sentence. The rest of the world will have moved on long before. The obvious guess for this time is that the telecom companies will not be such a problem in the telecoms industry because of Starlink. They will be a pest in some other market instead.

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