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HP South Korea office raided

April 18, 2012

Fair Trade Commission raids OEM’s Seoul office, speculated to be part of a price fixing investigation.

Printer manufacturer HP’s Seoul office was raid on 13 April by the South Korea Fair Trade Commission (FTC) on suspicion of price fixing, reports Korea Times.

Computer records and documents were taken, and employees were questioned over their suspicions. Reports are said to identify IBM and Oracle as other companies involved although FTC officials refused to elaborate on the precise reason for the raid, citing an internal rule prohibiting speaking to the press regarding pending cases.

HP spokesperson Baek-Min-jung confirmed the raid, stating: “It’s true that FTC officials visited our office last Friday”, although refused to clarify further, remarking that the probe was “routine”.

Technology website Techspot noted that “Korean firms are increasingly concerned about their dependence on foreign providers of servers, storage, database management systems as well as other enterprise products and services […] it’s believed the FTC Is seeking evidence that the three companies violated anti-trust laws. If found guilty, the parties involved could face criminal charges”.

A prosecution investigation against the OEM, also regarding price fixing, is currently on-going, following a complaint from IT startup Webcash filed in March 2012.

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