Japan's antitrust authorities are reportedly investigating both Sharp and Hitachi to determine whether the companies are guilty of price-fixing for liquid crystal display screens used in the Nintendo DS.
Bloomberg reports that the Fair Trade Commission searched the companies' offices
on February 28th, following an initial Kyodo News report.
Japanese fair trade regulations subject violators to a possible fine up to 10 percent of financial gains, if they are deemed to be made illegally.
Spokespeople from both Hitachi and Sharp declined to comment in detail to Bloomberg, beyond confirming that their firms were indeed under investigation, and Nintendo declined specific comment on the situation.
According to NPD data, the Nintendo DS has sold
8.5 million units in 2007 in North America alone, and has sold a total of 17.25 million units in North America to date.