After pleading guilty to 15 criminal counts relating to a long-running government investigation into price-fixing, a joint venture of LG Electronics and Hitachi has been ordered to pay a $21.1 million fine by a San Francisco judge.

Clients of the joint venture, including Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft, had spoken to the U.S. Justice Department about investigation into possible price fixing in the sale of optical disk drives for CD, DVD and Blu-Ray players. The investigation revealed that Hitachi-LG Storage had been conspiring to fix prices for drives as early as 2004, but due to the companies’ co-operation with the investigation, the Justice Department asked San Francisco district judge Richard Seeborg to set a relatively low fine.

Hitachi/LG plead guilty on price fixing [The Guardian]

Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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