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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Tuesday, August 14, 2018

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Samsung accuses LG of sabotaging washing machines ahead of Berlin IFA show

The two South Korean rivals compete in a number of market segments

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SEOUL, South Korea - Samsung Electronics has accused LG Electronics of deliberately damaging its washing machines at retail stores in Germany ahead of the Berlin IFA electronics show and has asked Seoul prosecutors to investigate.

In a statement Sunday, the company said the head of rival LG's home appliance division, along with other employees, had been seen deliberately destroying several of its premium washing machines on display at two stores in Berlin earlier this month.

"It is very unfortunate that Samsung had to request that a high-ranking executive be investigated by the nation's legal authorities, but this was inevitable, as we concluded that we had to get to the bottom of this incident," Samsung said in the statement.

The electronics giant has reportedly asked the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office to investigate the LG employees, while LG Electronics, Samsung's principle rival, has denied the accusations.

LG, with is also based in South Korea, said its employees had accidentally damaged the doors of two washing machines in one store because the model in question had weak hinges.

An LG spokesperson has confirmed that Jo Seong-jin, the home appliances division head, is one of the people named in Samsung's investigation request.

The two South Korean rivals compete in a number of market segments, including smartphones, televisions and home appliances. This dispute is just the latest in a long string of requests on both sides for investigation of the other.

Previous disputes revolved around a conflict over refrigerator capacity and claims over South Korean air conditioner market share. While most disputes in the past have been over claims made by the other, this latest accusation against LG, which leads Samsung in terms of washing machine sales, is the most serious yet.

LG also confirmed that German police had questioned their staff and insisted that it was cooperating fully with the investigation in both countries.

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