Samsung, LG, Pantech, and Kyocera, are perhaps the most recognizable mobile brands from Korea. Market leader Samsung may have just taken the first bite off the country's third biggest player Pantech, by purchasing a 10 percent stake. Valued at 53 billion KTW (about $48 million), the stake doesn't manage to put Samsung on Pantech's board, or any of its key decision-making bodies, but could work to its advantage. Samsung and LG are each major global suppliers of components for smartphones (SoCs, displays, batteries, etc.,) and the move could put Samsung at an advantage.
Samsung confirmed the purchase in a statement released to The Next Web:
Samsung Electronics has agreed to acquire a 10-percent stake in Pantech, valued at approximately KRW 53 billion. The investment is aimed at solidifying our relationship with Pantech, a key component customer of Samsung. Samsung will have no involvement in Pantech's business management in any way or form.
Pantech mobiles and smartphones are sold worldwide, and are part of several carriers' lineups.