SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics Co. has accused senior executives from rival LG Electronics Inc. of vandalizing its washing machines at stores in Germany earlier this month and has asked for an official investigation.
In a statement Sunday, Samsung said it had asked the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office to investigate executives from a South Korean company who were seen damaging Samsung washing machines displayed at shopping malls in Berlin. A Samsung spokesman confirmed that the Korean company referred to was LG.
"The people in question have been implicated in deliberately destroying Samsung washing machines displayed at retail stores in Berlin, Germany," Samsung's statement said.
One of the incidents that will come under investigation took place a day ahead of the IFA electronics trade show held in Berlin from Sep. 4-9.
LG Electronics denied Samsung's claim. It said in a statement that that some of its executives and staff, including a president, had visited a Berlin store and looked at various products, but it is common for its employees to examine rival company's products abroad.
"If our company had an intention to destroy products of a certain company to tarnish the image of the product, it would be commonsensical to not have our executives to directly carry out such acts," LG's statement said.
LG said the washing machine model in question had weak hinges, but it did not say whether its executives had damaged the products.
Samsung, which is the world's largest manufacturer of smartphones, said an investigation is necessary in the interests of "fostering fair competition."