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Samsung, LG agree to end all legal disputes

South Korean tech giants Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. announced Tuesday they have agreed to halt ongoing legal disputes, ending a years-long court battle over alleged technology theft and vandalism.

"(Samsung and LG) agreed to end all ongoing disputes to end tension," the two companies said in a joint statement. "We will also refrain from making more legal disputes and make efforts to settle issues through dialogue and consultation."

Samsung and LG, as well as their affiliates, Samsung Display Co. and LG Display Co., have been embroiled in five lawsuits involving three disputes.

The settled cases included the so-called "washer row," in which Samsung Electronics claimed that staff members from LG Electronics intentionally wrecked its washers at Germany-based electronics shops last year.

LG had refuted Samsung's accusations and countersued its bigger rival for defamation and forging evidence.

Samsung Electronics also had claimed that an ex-LG Electronics executive stole its confidential business plans, and used them to win over the bigger rival in the bidding for a government-led project in 2009. The case began prosecution in February.

Samsung Display and LG Display also had been engaged in a long dispute since 2012, with the two claiming that they leaked each others' organic light-emitting diode technologies.

The two South Korean tech giants said all the legal cases will be terminated "unconditionally."

"There has not been any compensation exchanged between the two sides," a Samsung spokesman said. "The decision was made by top executives, and aims to bring better services and products to consumers."

The four companies agreed to jointly take the necessary steps to end the discord, and plead to the investigative authorities for clemency for those accused throughout the duration of the disputes.

Industry watchers said the decision possibly had prior approval from Samsung's heir-apparent, Lee Jay-yong, and LG Group head Koo Bon-moo, with both companies taking the government's mediation efforts into consideration.

Shares of Samsung Electronics closed 0.91 percent higher at 1,441,000 won ($1,303) on the main bourse Tuesday, when the KOSPI advanced 0.54 percent. LG Electronics climbed 0.17 percent to 58,900 won while LG Display shed 0.79 percent to 31,300 won.

The announcement was made before the stock market closed. (Yonhap)

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