Japan's Fair Trade Commision has fined electronics manufacturer Sharp ¥261 million ($3 million) as part of an investigation into the price fixing of LCD modules for the original Nintendo DS model and the DS Lite. The company has been instructed to pay the fee by March 19, 2009.
While the fine is related to the LCD modules that Sharp supplied to Nintendo from late October 2005 to March 2006, the Fair Trade Commission also sent a cease-and-desist notice to the manufacturer for the LCD modules sold to Nintendo between January and March 2007 for the DS Lite.
Sharp denies that it it violated the country's Anti-Monopoly Act, arguing that while it and fellow electronics manufacturer Hitachi Display supply LCD modules to Nintendo, other LCD makers can also compete for business and eliminate any opportunities for price-fixing.
According to a statement
posted by PC World, Sharp claims that it "made continuous efforts to reduce costs and conducted price negotiations" with Nintendo to meet their pricing requests as closely as possible.
The statement continues, "We understand there is no precedent in Japan that a cartel in violation of Anti-Monopoly Act was found for a specific product which was sold to one private company for use of a single product model. Therefore, since Sharp would like to insist its company's view on this matter, we will determine [the] next steps, including whether to request a hearing."