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Samsung, Harman Deal Spells More Competition In IoT, Auto Spaces

$8B acquisition adds to company’s OEM assets

Samsung has made clear its intentions to expand its presence in the vehicle technology space, agreeing to purchase Harman International for $8 billion in cash.

Samsung described the deal as a shortcut to becoming a major player in “the large and rapidly growing market for connected technologies, particularly automotive electronics, which has been a strategic priority.”

Harman currently equips more than 30 million vehicles with audio and connected car systems. Earlier this year, Samsung invested $450 million in China-based electric car maker BYD, and Harman signed strategic partnership deals with car makers Fiat Chrysler and General Motors.

Samsung’s Young Sohn, president and chief strategy officer said the company anticipates long-term growth opportunities in the auto technology market with its specialized electronic components business.

Harman markets car audio and connected car technology that includes infotainment, telematics, connected safety and security.

“Working together, we are confident that Harman can become a new kind of tier 1 provider to the OEMs by delivering end-to-end solutions across the connected ecosystem,” Sohn said.

Assuming the deal goes through, Samsung said Harman will operate as a standalone subsidiary, retaining its current management team, workforce, headquarters and facilities, and keeping Harman’s consumer brands intact.

The deal is Samsung’s second major consumer-facing acquisition since the summer, when the company announced plans to acquire luxury kitchen majap maker Dacor.