Electric carmakers breathe easy as South Korean battery makers end tiff

Korean battery
Source: pulsenews.co.kr

(dpa) – SK Innovation (SKI) and LG Energy Solution – two key South Korean car battery manufacturers – have set aside a dispute centred on allegations of luring away employees and stealing secrets, one that threatened supply chains for the world’s carmakers.

According to reports, the two companies have agreed to withdraw a series of lawsuits filed in various countries and to forgo new legal complaints for a year. SKI also said it was prepared to pay 2 trillion won (1.78 billion dollars) to LG, as well as licensing fees.

The troubles started in 2019, when LG Energy Solutions, the parent company of LG Chem, filed charges against SKI in US courts, accusing it of luring away employees and stealing corporate secrets.

The fight was threatening to make it impossible for either company to fulfil contracts to companies like Volkswagen and Ford. Calls for the end to the conflict came from multiple corners, including VW, South Korea’s Trade Ministry and US President Joe Biden.

The agreement comes just as a US import ban was about to be applied to SKI products, after the company lost a ruling before a US trade body. Scott Keogh, head of VW’s US operations, said that, now that the dispute was settled, companies like his could focus on getting electric cars on the road.

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