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Samsung in talks to hire senior U.S. IRS official

All Headlines 10:07 November 16, 2011

SEOUL, Nov. 16 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest maker of memory chips and smartphones, said Wednesday that it is in talks to hire a senior official of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a move seen as aimed at bolstering its place in the global patent war against Apple Inc.

The Korean firm is negotiating employment terms with Victor Song, the chief of the IRS Criminal Investigation, for a senior position on the compliance team at the U.S. unit of Samsung Electronics, a company spokesman said by phone.

Both Samsung and Song, who has helmed the IRS's law enforcement arm since 2010, are positive that he will join the company, the spokesman said.

The Joongang Ilbo, a vernacular daily in South Korea, reported earlier that Song will begin his new position as Samsung's vice president in January when his term at the IRS finishes at the end of this year.

Samsung's move to tap the U.S. expert in financial crimes is expected to strengthen its position in a deepening legal row with Apple, which expanded to Europe, Asia and North America.

Another report in the Seoul Economics Daily said Song will set up a team within Samsung to collect information around the world and to better deal with lawsuits against Apple.

Samsung and Apple are locked in around 30 lawsuits against each other in 10 countries over smartphones and tablet PC patents.

A third-generation Korean born in Hawaii, Song received spotlight from local media earlier this year when he led high-profile investigations on tax evasions as the IRS criminal investigation chief.

Local media described Song as the first Asian to take the role at the IRS and a grandson of a Korean independence fighter who immigrated to Hawaii during Japan's colonization of Korea.


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