The Korea Herald

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Samsung, LG agree to end litigations

By Korea Herald

Published : March 31, 2015 - 20:08

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Samsung and LG, the nation’s top tech giants, said Tuesday they had agreed to end all their ongoing legal battles, including the latest feud over broken washing machines.

The two companies said in a joint statement that Samsung Electronics, Samsung Display, LG Electronics and LG Display would withdraw all complaints against each other without conditions.

For possible future disputes, they pledged to seek agreement through dialogue rather than legal action.

“The top management of both companies agreed to work together to cope with economic difficulties and to focus resources more on elevating products and services for consumers,” they said in the statement.

Industry sources said the agreement could have been reached in reflection of the willingness of Samsung Electronics vice chairman and de facto leader of Samsung Group Lee Jay-yong and LG Electronics vice chairman Koo Bon-joon.

“The two firms’ agreed not to reveal the details of the talks. Amid negative public sentiment, they have been seeking a breakthrough in behind-the-scenes contact,” said a Samsung executive on condition of anonymity.

Samsung and LG, the two rival firms, have long clashed over several issues, some of which have escalated to legal battles.

In a culmination of their disputes, Samsung filed against three LG executives including president and home appliance chief Jo Seong-jin, accusing them of vandalizing its washing machines at an electronics shop in Germany in September.

Following the indictment of the executives in Seoul, LG also counter-charged Samsung, saying they were testing the machines, not sabotaging them.

Their display units have also locked horns over tech leaks. Samsung Display employees were indicted in February on charges of stealing organic light-emitting diode display panel technology from LG Display.

Other recent spats include a patent dispute over 3-D TVs in 2011, competition over the capacity of their new refrigerators in 2012 and a PR campaign for their air conditioners in 2013.

By Lee Ji-yoon (jylee@heraldcorp.com)