The Korea Herald


Samsung, LG clash over police raid

By Korea Herald

Published : April 10, 2013 - 20:04

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Samsung Display on Wednesday denied that it had been investigated for technology espionage against its rival LG Display following reports that the police had raided its offices the day before.

“Samsung is the only company in the world possessing OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology. Our concern is that our technology may be leaked, not vice versa,” Samsung Display chief executive Kim Ki-nam told reporters after a weekly Samsung executive meeting.

On Tuesday, the cyber crime unit of Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency raided the plant and office facilities of Samsung Display.

The police said that the search was conducted based on allegations that Samsung Display stole LG Display’s OLED technology in 2010 through its suppliers.

The authorities also said that Samsung’s role had yet to be defined in the scheme, stressing that the raid was restricted to the suppliers and not Samsung Display itself.

However, LG Display appeared to rejoice over the news of the police investigation, saying that if the authorities discovered any wrongdoing, it would be a classic case of “the pot calling the kettle black.”

The row between the world’s two largest manufactures of displays goes back to last year when the prosecution indicted almost a dozen individuals ― current and former employees from both Samsung and LG Display ― for stealing Samsung’s OLED technology.

Samsung had demanded compensation but LG denied any malpractice. The two have since clashed in an ongoing legal battle.

This year, it seemed the two sides were ready to call a truce after the government intervened as a peacemaker.

This reconciliatory mood was broken by the recent police raid, industry watchers said.

The two companies also are still bickering over who has the lead in OLED technology.

Samsung points to its 98 percent share in the global OLED market, but LG argues that the figure applies only to small and mid-sized panels.

In the large-scaled “flagship” segment, LG Display claims to have the lead. LG unveiled a 55-inch OLED television in January and started to sell it last month. Samsung has yet to commercialize, saying it plans to launch both flat and curved OLED TVs during the first half of this year.

By Kim Ji-hyun (