Sharp, Hitachi Unit Raided over Cartel Allegation

The companies are suspected of rigging prices of liquid crystal displays (LCDs) for Nintendo's popular portable DS game consoles.

Japan's fair trade watchdog raided Sharp Corp. and Hitachi Ltd. on Feb. 28 on suspicion of limiting competition by fixing prices of displays for portable game consoles, officials said. Officials of the Fair Trade Commission inspected offices and outlets of Sharp and Hitachi Displays Ltd., Hitachi Ltd.'s wholly-owned subsidiary, company officials said.

Local media said the two companies were suspected of rigging prices of liquid crystal displays (LCDs) for Nintendo's popular portable DS game consoles. Nintendo confirmed that Sharp and Hitachi Display are currently the only suppliers of the three-inch (7.5-centimeter) panel for Nintendo DS and DS Lite consoles. "But we are not aware of the reported allegations," a Nintendo spokesman said, adding that it was not known if the company filed a complaint with the watchdog about the alledged bid-rigging.

Nintendo has sold 64.79 million of the portable game consoles since they were first launched in 2004.

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