updated 01:30 pm EDT, Mon April 16, 2012
HP's South Korean offices raided by the FTC
Korea's Fair Trade Commission raided HP's Seoul office on Friday as part of an investigation into the company's alleged price-fixing practices, The Korea Times reported. Employees were questioned and computer records as well as documents were ceased during the raid. Other companies that are said to be involved in the scheme include IBM and Oracle.
FTC officials didn't reveal their reason for the probe due to their own rules. An HP spokesperson called the probe "routine" and part of the FTC's commitment to clamp down on multinational IT firms. Concerns are growing that Korean firms are relying on foreign providers for computer servers, storage and database management systems. HP, IBM, and Oracle are the major players in this business.
If the FTC finds the companies violated South Korea's antitrust laws, it may turn the case over to the prosecution, which may result in criminal charges for the executives responsible.