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Hyundai, LG appoint US third party to broker merger

Nerves break after SK government gets tough

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Hyundai and LG appear to have narrowly averted stern action from the South Korean government, and have appointed a third party to oversee the merger of their chip businesses. According to US reports, the companies have appointed a US company, Arthur D. Little, to oversee the negotiations. Both companies have dug their heels in to merge their lucrative semiconductor businesses, with one of the issues being which would hold the majority share. Earlier this week, the South Korean government, frustrated by the stalemate, threatened to take measures against both of the chaebols (family concerns) unless they swiftly moved to appoint a third party. However, the appointment of the US consultant does not necessarily mean that the bitter struggle between Hyundai and LG will end. Any negotiations are bound to be protracted as both jockey for the controlling position. And if the merger does finally come off, it may trigger external anti-trust action by the US government, worried about alleged anti-dumping issues. ®

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