SK Innovation and LG Energy Solutions are settling a lawsuit involving EV batteries.
Earlier this month, SK Innovation reached a settlement with LG Energy Solutions, ending a lawsuit over EV batteries in the United States and Korea. As part of the settlement, SK Innovation will pay “LG Energy Solution 2 trillion won, equal to about $1.8 billion, apportioned into lump-sum payments and a running royalty.” Additionally, both companies agreed to withdraw the remaining pending “legal disputes in the United States and Korea and agreed to a 10-year non-assertion.”
When announcing the settlement, Jong Hyun Kim, CEO and President of LG Energy Solution, and Jun Kim, CEO and President of SK Innovation released the following statement:
“LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation have decided to settle to compete in an amicable way, all for the future of the U.S. and South Korean electric vehicle battery industries…We are dedicated to work together to support the Biden Administration’s climate agenda and to develop a robust U.S. supply chain.”
Before the announcement, SK Battery was threatening to discontinue work on one of its factories in Jackson County, Georgia, and leave the U.S. unless President Joe Biden declared support for them. Shortly after the settlement announcement, Biden released the following statement:
“This settlement agreement is a win for American workers and the American auto industry. A key part of my plan to Build Back Better is to have the electric vehicles and batteries of the future built here in America, all across America, by American workers. We need a strong, diversified, and resilient U.S.-based electric vehicle battery supply chain, so we can supply the growing global demand for these vehicles and components — creating good-paying jobs here at home, and laying the groundwork for the jobs of tomorrow. Today’s settlement is a positive step in that direction, which will bring some welcome relief to workers in Georgia and new opportunity for workers across the country. I want to thank Ambassador Katherine Tai for her tireless work to resolve this dispute and facilitate a settlement that is good for America’s future in the electric vehicle industry, and good for job creation. My American Jobs Plan will help build on this momentum, creating millions of new jobs, supporting a stronger American auto industry, and making sure that we win the electric vehicle markets of the future.”
What prompted the dispute, though? Well, the dispute stemmed from allegations that SK stole trade secrets from LG to build the $2.6 billion plant in Jackson County that would provide about 2,600 green jobs. Then, in February, the United States International Trade Commission ruled the company “tried to destroy evidence it stole 22 trade secrets from LG, now called LG Energy Solutions.”