CADE's General Superintendence probes cartel in the global market for hard disk components
CADE's General Superintendence initiated an Administrative Proceeding to investigate the practice of an international cartel that could have possible effects in Brazil, in the market of hard disk components, used in computers and known as suspension assemblies.
Those components keep the position of a magnetic support reader, above the surface of a drive, which spins at great a rate.
The five investigated companies are Hutchinson Technology Inc.; Magnecomp Precision Technology Public Co. Ltd; NHK Spring Co., Ltd.; TDK Corporation; and SAE Magnetics (H.K.) Ltd.
According to the Technical Note of the initiation of the investigation, there are several evidences that the companies divided the market and fixed prices in response to costumer’s quotation requests. The companies also shared competitive sensible information, mainly related to (I) current, potential and proposed prices to suspension assemblies, (II) private clients’ biddings, (III) resource allocation of costumers, (IV) production capacity and (V) usage fees of each company.
The anticompetitive practices would have been perpetrated by, at least, 38 individuals connected with the companies, and implemented through meetings and email exchanges, between 2003 and May 2016.
With the establishment of the Administrative Proceeding, the indicted parties will be notified to present their defenses. At the conclusion of the procedural instruction, the General Superintendence will recommend either the condemnation or case filling, and will submit the case to the Administrative Court, responsible for the final decision.