SEOUL: South Korean prosecutors have indicted the chief of LG Electronics Inc’s home appliances business on the charge of deliberately damaging Samsung Electronics Co Ltd washing machines, LG said on Sunday.
The indictment comes after months of investigation following a complaint filed by Samsung in September. Jo Seong-jin and other LG employees were accused of deliberately damaging Samsung washers at retail stores in Germany.
An LG spokeswoman confirmed that Jo and two other employees have been indicted by prosecutors. Samsung Electronics declined to comment, and the prosecutors could not be immediately reached for comment.
“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 who will be defending Jo in court, in a statement provided by LG.
“The truth will be revealed in the courts.”
People familiar with the matter told Reuters that representatives of Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics met recently in an ultimately unsuccessful mediation attempt by prosecutors.
The cross town rivals compete on several fronts, especially televisions and home appliances, and have a history of feuding.
They have quarrelled publicly over whose refrigerator could hold more, and who had a bigger share of the domestic air conditioning market, and current and former workers say they routinely spy on each other at trade shows.