A couple of days ago Samsung Electronics confirmed the acquisition of Harman International Industries for the sum of $8 billion, representing another big step in the South Korean manufacturer's business endeavors across the automotive industry. In light of this acquisition, fresh reports from South Korea reveal that LG Electronics and Hyundai Motor – both business partners of Harman International Industries – feel under pressure, but both companies confirm that the change in ownership will not affect existing contracts, at least for the time being.
Harman International Industries is a major US-based auto component supplier, and numerous other brands exist under Harman's umbrella, including AKG, Infinity, JBL, and Lexicon. Over the years, both LG Electronics and Hyundai Motors have relied on Harman for acquiring a variety of electronic components, with LG making use of numerous Harman technologies, specifically in the company's LG Signature OLED TV premium line-up. LG also used Harman Kardon components in the (now-discontinued) LG Tone Infinim (HBS-900) Bluetooth headset, along with Harman Kardon audio technologies in its top-tier laptops. That being said, LG Electronics cannot ignore Samsung's acquisition of Harman International Industries, especially since Samsung is one of LG's main competitors in a variety of market segments, including mobile and home entertainment. The good news for LG is that, according to the company, the contracts settled previously between LG and Harman will remain in effect, at least for the time being.
The same goes for Hyundai-Kia Motors who utilize car infotainment systems from Harman-owned brands including JBL, Lexicon, and Infinity. The company has also equipped the Hyundai Genesis with Technical Grammy Award-winning sound systems supplied by Lexicon, but regardless of Samsung's acquisition of the US-based tech giant, the South Korean carmaker says that the partnership between them and Harman will continue. On the other hand, industry watchers say that it's very likely for Hyundai Motor to eventually look for a different supplier as a measure of precaution against Samsung Electronics' increased involvement in the automotive electronic market segments. Either way, Harman's change of ownership should be officially completed in mid-2017, and Samsung previously confirmed that it will keep all of Harman's existing infrastructure and workforce intact.