back to article Hard Disk Dri, er, Connive: Two sales execs accused by Uncle Sam of bumping up HDD component prices

Two former sales executives at NHK Spring Ltd, Hitoshi Hashimoto and Hiroyuki Tamura, were indicted in America last week for alleged participation in a worldwide conspiracy to fix the prices of hard disk components. "This charge demonstrates that antitrust violations are not just corporate offenses but also crimes by …

  1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    "when their products become commodities."

    That really ought to be a good thing. A steady, guaranteed income, leaving you to concentrate on new and better "goodies". But enormous pressure is applied by the stock market and shareholders demanding constant and often unrealistic growth such that more and more often companies are looking for any method to show that growth, even if the the methods are illegal..

    1. whitepines
      Facepalm

      Re: "when their products become commodities."

      Did this collusion involve any Chinese firms, or just companies in relatively high development countries? If it didn't include companies in PRC (or other very low cost cloners) then the attempt to stay alive would have backfired anyway by artificially inflating the costs of the product even further above the clones.

      Hard to see PRC going along with a scheme like this anyway given their primary selling point is cost.

      That said, if your product becomes a commodity, the threat of aforementioned cheap clones always hovering over the company's head means that you end up taking the profit as if it can disappear tomorrow. That's bad for R&D, bad for balance sheets, bad for business. Sounds like these companies failed to continue innovating when their product wasn't a commodity, and resorted to illegal tactics to stay afloat after they stopped innovating.

      ...which also makes one wonder what their actual current purpose is versus a dedicated cost-focused manufacturing firm....

  2. eldakka Silver badge
    Coat

    Nice to see the authorities springing into action.

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