LG And Samsung Accused Of Dumping Cheap Appliances

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LG and Samsung, who are set to go head to head in Australia later this year with an array of new appliances, that incorporate intelligent features, have been accused of trying to gain market share by “dumping” appliances at below cost.

LG and Samsung, who are set to go head to head in Australia later this year with an array of new appliances, that incorporate intelligent features, have been accused of trying to gain market share by “dumping” appliances at below cost.

The allegations made by Whirlpool in the US market, is in violating trade laws in their marketing of foreign-built refrigerators Whirlpool claims.

Whirlpool, the world’s largest manufacturer of household appliances, has asked the U.S. Commerce Department to investigate the two companies, which have been grabbing market share from Whirlpool and Electrolux by offering lower prices on appliances. Whirlpool alleges that the companies are “dumping” refrigerators in the U.S market in an effort to gain a bigger share.

“Dumping is an unfair trade practice used to drive out competitors, which means consumers end up with fewer choices,” said Marc Bitzer, a Whirlpool President, in a written statement.

Whirlpool’s complaint specifically cites Samsung and LG’s discounting of high-end refrigerators featuring a pull-out freezer drawer on the bottom of the box. Bottom-mounted refrigerators are about $3 billion a year business in the US.

Whirlpool’s market share in the category was about 35% in 2008, but had fallen to below 15% in 2010. Meanwhile, imported bottom-mounted boxes, led by Samsung and LG, accounted for 84% of the US  market last year, according to Whirlpool’s filing. Neither Samsung nor LG had any presence in the category a decade ago, said Sam Darkatsh, an analyst for Raymond James.

Samsung and LG did not immediately respond to requests for comments on the complaint.

Samsung has said it’s targeting world-wide appliance sales of about $30 billion a year by 2015, up from more than $10 billion last year.

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