Korean regulator 'raids' HP offices in price fixing probe

Korean regulator 'raids' HP offices in price fixing probe

Summary: Korean officials reportedly raided HP's offices in the country over allegations of price fixing, that may involve other major names in the region.

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HP is under investigation in South Korea over allegations of price fixing, according to a report in the Korea Times.

The country's Fair Trade Commission (FTC) raided the offices on Monday, with officials removing computer files and documents, and questioning employees.

The Times report suggests others involved in the alleged price fixing include IBM and Oracle, amongst others.

While the Korean FTC did not elaborate on the exact reason for the investigation --- citing internal rules not to speak to the media about pending cases --- it follows a promise earlier this year that the FTC would tighten its monitoring of multinational technology firms.

“It’s true that FTC officials visited our office last Friday,” a HP spokesperson said, but called the audit "routine".

A company statement said: "HP is co-operating fully with the Korea Fair Trade Commission in this routine audit. HP conducts its business with uncompromising integrity and we adhere to the highest standards of business ethics."

It is understood that the Korean FTC will try to confirm whether those involved in the alleged price fixing of products and services --- which HP is a market leader in the Korean database, server, and storage sectors --- broke antitrust laws in the country.

ZDNet UK reports in March, the Korean FTC filed a handful of mobile networks and phone manufacturers for $40 million for fixing prices, after regulators found that those involved --- including Samsung, LG, and Pantech --- had conspired to artificially boost prices.

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Topics: Government US, Government, Hewlett-Packard

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