Samsung, LG make up in dispute over broken washing machines

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Samsung Electronics and LG have ended a six-month dispute over broken washing machines during the IFA electronics show last year.

The South Korean arch-rivals said Tuesday that a consensus had been reached among top executives from both sides that it was time to focus on improving their products and services for the customers, according to a joint statement.

Both companies will drop charges and inform the authorities about the agreement.

Samsung first sued some LG executives last September for allegedly damaging the door hinges of three “Crystal Blue” washing machines on display at two separate retail stores in Berlin before the trade show. LG countersued Samsung for fabricating and hiding the evidence, and also blamed the poor quality of the rival products.

South Korean prosecutors raided LG’s Seoul headquarters in December and probed the company’s top executives including Jo Seong-jin, the head of the home appliance division. In defense, LG released last month video footage of Jo testing different Samsung machines displayed in stores, claiming it was not a move to harm but a regular practice to test the rival’s products.

Recently, South Korean smartphone makers have faced stiff competition in the global market, specially challenged by less expensive Chinese devices. Samsung has released its latest premium flagship smartphones - Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge with a curved-screen - hoping to lift its smartphone profits, which plunged in the past quarters. The Suwon-based company also froze the salaries of all its workers, its first since 2009, in efforts to improve its bottom line.

The two companies have also decided to stop an ongoing feud between their sister affiliates, Samsung Display and LG Display, over allegations of theft of OLED technologies.

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