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Japanese manufacturer agrees to plead guilty to fixing prices for hard disk parts

Christian Fernsby ▼ | July 30, 2019
NHK Spring Co. Ltd. K Spring), a Japanese manufacturer of suspension assemblies used in hard disk drives, has agreed to plead guilty for its role in a global conspiracy to fix prices, the Department of Justice announced.
Hard disk
Asia   Hard disk
According to a one-count felony charge filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit, NHK Spring reached agreements with co-conspirators to refrain from price competition and allocate their respective market shares for suspension assemblies used in hard disk drives.

Pursuant to their agreements not to compete, NHK Spring and its co-conspirators exchanged pricing information including anticipated pricing quotes, which they used to inform their negotiations with U.S.

and foreign customers that purchased suspension assemblies and produced hard disk drives for sale in, or delivery to, the U.S. and elsewhere.

NHK Spring participated in the conspiracy from at least as early as May 2008 and continuing until at least April 2016.

Subject to court approval, the company has agreed to plead guilty, to pay a $28.5 million criminal fine, and to cooperate in the ongoing investigation.

Suspension assemblies are components of hard disk drives, which are used to store information electronically and are incorporated into computers or sold as stand-alone electronic storage devices.

Hard disk drives use magnetic recording heads to read from and write onto rapidly spinning disks.

Suspension assemblies hold the recording heads in close proximity to the disks and provide the electrical connection from the recording heads to the hard disk drives’ circuitry.