Optical Drive Cartel Suspected of Keeping Prices High

Despite the fact that optical drives are probably on the way out, the European Commission has announced that it suspects thirteen manufacturers of being involved in a five-year bid-rigging cartel in an attempt to keep prices artificially elevated.

Reuters reports that the European Commission suspects the thirteen manufacturers to have been deliberately coordinating their bids in auctions for contracts with at least two major PC manufacturers. In turn, that means the PC prices have been artificially heightened—at least a little. According an EC statement, it is "one of the most serious breaches of EU antitrust rules".

So far none of the optical drive suppliers have been named, but it seems likely that it includes some big names. After all, there aren't that many optical drive manufacturers in total. While the investigation might see the suppliers reprimanded, the chances are that your next PC might not even have an optical drive—something these manufacturers seems to know all too well. [European Commission via Reuters]

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