According to the charges, from approximately August 2006 until February 2009, HP hosted optical disk drive procurement events in which participants would be awarded varying amounts of optical disk drive supply depending on where their pricing ranked. According to court documents, Yang and co-conspirators participated in a series of conspiracies involving meetings and discussions to predetermine bidding strategies and prices of optical disk drives, resulting in the submission of collusive and noncompetitive bids for HP's procurement events. Yang and co-conspirators also exchanged information on sales, market share and the pricing of optical disk drives to monitor and enforce adherence to the agreements.
Including Yang, the DoJ has charged four individuals and one company as a result of its ongoing investigation into the optical disk drive industry. On Nov. 8, 2011, HLDS pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco to 14 counts of violating the federal antitrust laws between approximately June 2004 and September 2009. HLDS also pleaded guilty to one count of participating in a scheme to defraud in connection with an April 2009 procurement event. On the same day, HLDS was sentenced to pay a $21.1 million criminal fine and agreed to assist the department in its ongoing investigation into the optical disk drive industry.
HLDS executives Y.K. Park, S.H. Kim and Sik Hur pleaded guilty to multiple violations of the Sherman Act on March 27, 2012, April 17, 2012 and April 10, 2012 respectively. Park, Kim and Hur are currently awaiting sentencing.
Yang is charged with violating the Sherman Act. Each count carries a maximum fine of $1 million and up to 10 years in prison. The maximum fine may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime, if either of those amounts is greater than the statutory maximum fine.