Headquarters of South Korean tech giant LG Group, pictured in Seoul
Seoul - AFP
A South Korean court on Friday acquitted a senior LG Electronics executive on charges of sabotaging rival Samsung washing machines at a trade fair in Germany last year.
The Seoul Central District Court dismissed the case against Jo Seong-Jin, the president of LG's home appliance division, citing a lack of compelling evidence.
The two South Korean tech giants have been fierce competitors for years, and the washing machine spat broke out after Samsung claimed surveillance video footage from the September 2014 fair in Berlin showed LG executives, including Jo, destroying door hinges on its washers.
The court ruled the prosecution failed to prove Jo actually broke the washers or had intended to do so.
In March this year, the two companies decided to end all their legal disputes, but Jo's trial went ahead because the criminal case had already been launched.
Bitter competitors in home appliance and TV markets both at home and abroad, Samsung and LG have locked horns for years over patent disputes and attack ads denigrating each others' products.
Things got so bad at one point that Seoul's trade minister arranged a meeting between the two firms' top executives in 2013 to broker a truce.