European Commission fines 8 companies involved in optical disc drive bid-rigging cartel

The European Commission has slapped fines totaling 116 million euros ($132 million) on eight companies involved in a cartel linked to the supply of optical disc drives to computer companies Dell and Hewlett Packard.

The commission said Wednesday the companies illicitly colluded "to avoid aggressive competition in procurement tenders organized by Dell and HP."

The commission says some company representatives — knowing their actions were illegal — met in parking lots and movie theaters to discuss tender details for supplying products such as CD and DVD drives.

Among companies fined were Sony, Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology and Hitachi-LG Data Storage. Philips and Lite-On also were fined, but had the punishments waived because they were first to reveal the existence of the cartel.