Ask anyone that has kept an eye on the optical drive market in the last 8 months if anything fishy was going on, and you would probably get 9 answers yes out of ten. The number of drive models is way down, the number of manufacturers is down somewhat, and the prices of drives are up by 25 to 35 percent.

I had not read anything about this, but this time, the DOJ seems to have been out in front of this one, according to a blurb on slashdot  –

 

Lucas123 writes "After the DOJ launched an investigation last fall into price fixing by major optical disk drive manufacturers, a home electronics retail store filed a class-action lawsuit this week seeking triple damages for what it is claiming to be long-standing collusion among Sony, Samsung, Toshiba, LG Electronics and Hitachi to raise and fix prices on the drives. The suit claims the vendors used trade organization forums as meeting places to discuss the price fixing. ‘These are big Asian smoke-stack industries where they’re investing in big fabrication plants. You can’t have a technology destroy the business,’ said the attorney representing the plaintiff. ‘If you fire up a big fab plant with CRT tubes, and the next generation technology destroys it, then you have a big fab plant manufacturing buggy whips. So they have to make sure the price points for these [newer] technologies … don’t destroy existing markets.’"

Ah yes, the buggy whips argument. The writer obviously saw the movie “Other People’s Money” [great movie by the way] but this really doesn’t explain why some things are happening. It will be nice to see what the DOJ comes up with, as clearly, optical drives are not going anywhere soon – anyone saying they are should have more than an inkling of what will replace them, and had also better have a better answer than some inane, easily screwed-up-with-all-data-lost flash drive.

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