Sony, Toshiba, Hitachi Part Of U.S. Antitrust Probe

TOKYO (AP) -- Japanese electronics giants Sony, Toshiba and Hitachi said Tuesday that their optical disc drive operations are under investigation by U.S. authorities for possible antitrust violations.

Sony Corp. said its California-based sales unit Sony Optiarc America has received a subpoena from the U.S. Department of Justice seeking information for an antitrust probe related to the company's optical disc drive operations.

Company spokesman Chisato Kitsukawa said the company is "fully cooperating with U.S. authorities," and that he could not provide any other details about the case.

Toshiba Corp. and Hitachi Ltd. said they also received similar subpoenas for optical disc drive operations at their subsidiaries, Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology Corp. and Hitachi-LG Data Storage Inc. They also declined further comment.

Optical disc drives are used in computers and in CD and Blu-ray disc players. The three companies account for about 60 percent of the market.

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