Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), the world's biggest personal computer maker, sued optical disk drive companies over claims they conspired to fix prices on billions of dollars in products it bought from 2004 to 2010.
HP, in two complaints filed Thursday in federal court in Houston, said Toshiba, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics were among the companies that shared confidential information and rigged bids to "fix, raise, stabilize and maintain prices" for the disk drives.
The defendants, according to the complaints, jointly controlled 90 percent of the market for optical disk drives, which are used to store and replay media and data on CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray devices. HP's supply chain procurement operation is based in Houston.
"Many of the defendants and their co-conspirators have a long history of collusion; have been involved in antitrust investigations into other technology-related products; and/or have admitted to participating in anticompetitive cartels involving technology-related or other products," according to one of the complaints.
HP's claims follow a multiyear probe by the U.S. Justice Department into price-fixing and bid-rigging claims in the industry. Hitachi-LG Data Storage and four of its executives have pleaded guilty to antitrust violations in the optical disk drive industry, according to the complaint.
"The guilty plea that HLDS Inc. entered and press releases that the DOJ issued have specifically identified HP as a victim of price-fixing for its purchases" of the disk drives, HP said in the complaint.
Palo Alto-based HP seeks unspecified triple damages and injunctive relief under federal antitrust laws and two California statutes aimed an uncompetitive behavior.