Samsung shares shed $12 billion


Samsung Electronics plunged the most in almost four years, wiping out $12 billion (€9.6 billion) in market value, on concern some of its devices may be banned in the US after a jury said it violated Apple patents.

Samsung plummeted as much as 7.7 per cent after a California court on August 24 ruled the world's biggest handset maker infringed six of seven patents.

Jurors said the South Korea-based company must pay more than $1 billion in damages in the first lawsuit between the dominant global smartphone rivals to go before a US jury.

A ban may undermine Samsung grip on a smartphone market valued at $219.1 billion by Bloomberg Industries and set a precedent for rival handset makers that use Google's Android operating system.

A judge scheduled a hearing next month to consider Apple's request for a permanent US sales ban on devices such as the Galaxy S and S II smartphones and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 computer.

"What's concerning is whether any ban will be extended to flagship models and will have impact on cases in other places," Seo Won Seok, a Seoul-based analyst at Korea Investment and Securities, said by phone today.

"Perhaps Samsung has technology to avoid some infringements, but they also need to come up with ways to get around Apple's patents within the Android operating system."

Meanwhile, Samsung asked a judge to lift a ban on the US sales of the Galaxy 10.1 tablet computer.

The jury decided the Galaxy device didn't infringe an Apple patent so the preliminary ban on its sale should be dissolved, Samsung said in a filing yesterday in federal court in San Jose, California.

The South Korean company said in June, when Apple won the ban on US sales of the Galaxy tablet, that it wouldn't have a significant impact on its business.

Samsung said in yesterday's filing that it's entitled to recover damages caused by the imposition of the improper ban on the sales of the tablet.