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11 arrested over suspected leak of cutting-edge display technology

All Headlines 15:35 April 05, 2012

SUWON, South Korea, April 5 (Yonhap) -- Eleven people were arrested on suspicion of leaking key technology involved in making next-generation flat screen displays, police said Thursday.

The suspects allegedly transferred the technology from flat screen display maker Samsung Mobile Display (SMD) to a local rival firm, using their past or current ties to either company, the police said.

The suspects are former or current researchers at SMD or employees of the rival firm, they added.

A 46-year-old former researcher at SMD, whose name was withheld, is suspected of receiving 190 million won (US$168,544) from the competitor in exchange for secret data on the so-called "small mask scanning" technology involved in building active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) displays for large televisions. Until now, AMOLED displays have mostly been used for small smart devices.

Industry insiders expect the new technology to help SMD grab a large share of the future market for AMOLED TVs, valued at about 90 trillion won.

The 46-year-old suspect, who was deeply involved in developing the technology at SMD, is accused of leaking the data after moving to the rival company in November of 2011. When his initial expectations of receiving an executive position were not met, he also allegedly tried to share the information with a Chinese display maker, according to the police.

Police said they have sought an arrest warrant for the 46-year-old and booked the other 10 suspects without detention.

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