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LG exec accused of vandalizing Samsung products

Before the IFA trade show, one LG exec reportedly chats with police concerning some broken Samsung washing machines.

Could it be that an LG exec was trying to make competition easier? LG/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It's tempting to think that competition between gadget brands never ends.

It's also tempting to imagine that no brand is entirely immune from subterfuge.

However, one tale emerging from Berlin, on the eve of the IFA 2014 electronics show, has left me failing to stifle a guffaw.

A man is accused of examining Samsung's washing machines in a shopping mall and deciding that their doors needed aggressive readjusting.

Korea's Yonhap news agency reported Thursday that store clerks at the Saturn electronics store in the Berlin Europa-Center observed the man allegedly damaging the doors of Samsung Crystal Blue washing machines -- four of them. CCTV footage allegedly confirmed his actions.

Why would he do that? Why would anyone? It turns out that this man worked for LG. The executive was questioned by police, according to the report, but the matter was dropped after LG allegedly agreed to pay for all the damage.

An LG executive told Yonhap: "The executive was only checking Samsung's washing machines, as their doors were shaking when the shop clerks accused him that he was damaging the products."

Ah, so the Samsung products were defective and the man from LG was lending a helping servicing hand? That would be remarkably altruistic and an excellent example for representatives of other companies at trade shows.

I can just imagine Apple operatives sidling up to a Samsung display and offering a quick redesign of their cell phones.

Still, the LG spokesman added that this "is just one of those common incidents that occur ahead of electronics shows."

I hadn't been aware that the servicing of rival appliances was a common occurrence at electronics shows.

I contacted LG to ask if it could offer me a little more information about this curious attempt to allegedly assist its fierce competition. I will update, should I hear.

For its part, Samsung claims it also has evidence of its products being damaged in another Saturn electronics store in Berlin. Perhaps there, too, it was merely an attempt to offer a quick fix.

This could herald a new era in cross-company co-operation. For the good of the industry as a whole, should any employee of any company see a rival's product not at its absolute best, he or she should immediately offer help.

After all, your company's employees ought to be experts in a given category. Who better than they to repair something defective?

After all, everyone believes in a fair fight, don't they?