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LG Executive Charged Over Attack On Samsung Appliances

LG Executive Charged Over Attack On Samsung Appliances

Jo Seong-jin, head of the company’s home-appliance division was attending a trade show in Germany when according to German Police he deliberately vandalised four Samsung “Crystal Blue” washing machines that competed with similar washing machines made by LG. 

An LG Electronics spokeswoman said Sunday that Jo Seong-jin, head of the company’s home-appliance division, has been indicted on charges of deliberately damaging four Samsung “Crystal Blue” washing machines and with defamation and obstruction of business, she said.

Two other company executives have been indicted on similar charges over the same incident, the spokeswoman said.

“It is questionable whether there is sufficient evidence to prove that the president of a global company deliberately destroyed the machines where employees of the competing company were present,” said Ham Yoon-keun, a lawyer for Mr. Jo, according to a statement provided by LG on Sunday.

“The truth will be revealed in the courts,” Mr. Ham said in the statement.

On Sunday, the three LG executives and prosecutors couldn’t be reached, while Samsung declined to comment.

The Wall Street Journal claims that the incidents the latest in a long string of spats between the two South Korean electronics giants, which have previously clashed over refrigerator capacity and who was first with certain widescreen curved televisions.

In September last year, Samsung accused LG executives of breaking the doors of several of its washing machines at two Berlin shopping centres in what they claim was an attempt to gain a competitive advantage in the cutthroat appliance business, which market-research firm Euromonitor International says was worth about $400 billion globally last year. LG has denied the allegations from the beginning of the saga, which has featured on the front page of The Wall Street Journal.

LG initially paid for the four damaged washing machines-which retailed for about $2700 each-in an attempt to resolve the situation, but Samsung filed a lawsuit later in September, seeking the help of South Korean prosecutors, citing property damage and defamation. LG then countersued Samsung, complaining about alleged defamation and possible evidence tampering.

In December, prosecutors raided the offices of LG in connection with the case and temporarily barred Mr. Jo from leaving the country.