Technology

Samsung and LG agree to bury the legal hatchet

Samsung Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Samsung and LG have agreed to try to end a lengthy legal battle, but prosecutors will have the final say

The rival manufacturers Samsung and LG have agreed to seek an end to their long-running dispute.

Each said it would withdraw legal complaints against the other and ask for leniency in continuing cases.

A war has been raging between the South Korean companies, including a battle over claims that LG staff damaged Samsung washing machines.

South Korean prosecutors refused to comment on proceedings against employees of both firms.

"Both sides have agreed to avoid legal action and resolve any future conflicts or disputes through dialogue and mutual agreement," the companies said.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption LG employees admitted that Samsung appliances were damaged, but said it was accidental

Their accord raises the prospect of peace between the firms. But it does not officially resolve criminal cases brought by prosecutors.

LG appliances chief Jo Seong-jin has been indicted by Seoul prosecutors on a charge of deliberately damaging Samsung washing machines at a retail store in Germany last September.

While Samsung employees have been indicted on charges of stealing organic light-emitting diode (Oled) display panel technology from LG.

Each company has said, however, that it will withdraw its complaint and ask for leniency on behalf of the other.

Rivalry

The two firms have a longstanding and fierce rivalry. The bad feeling escalated when Samsung said that LG executives deliberately damaged its washing machines ahead of a major trade fair.

LG accepted that two machines were damaged, but said it was accidental and a result of poor manufacturing.

It said its employees examined the goods and that it offered to pay for four machines at one store, even though only two were damaged by them during the inspection.

After Samsung asked South Korean prosecutors to get involved, LG published surveillance video footage in an attempt to prove its employees' innocence. Samsung said the video had been heavily edited in the executive's favour.

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Media captionWatch: LG said its staff did not damage Samsung machines and released CCTV footage it said supported the denial

The firms had previously argued over refrigerator capacity and which of the two has the bigger air-conditioning market share.

The agreement extends to Samsung Electronics subsidiary Samsung Display and to LG Display Co Ltd. Samsung Display employees were indicted in February on charges of stealing organic light-emitting diode (Oled) display panel technology from LG Display.

Samsung Display has said the technology was widely known in the industry and that the indictment was excessive.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' office declined to comment on the case against the LG Electronics appliances chief, and the Suwon District Prosecutors' Office declined to comment regarding its case against the Samsung Display employees.

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