Apple Gives LG Display $500 Million Shot In The Arm

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LG announced the $500 million partnership in a filing with the Korea Exchange but did not provide further details.

"LG Display has made a long-term agreement to supply a massive amount of LCD to Apple in the face of uneasy condition of foreign capital inflow amid the global economic downturn," the company said in a statement.

According to Park Sang-hyun, an analyst at HI Investment & Securities, LG Display panels already represent more than 70 percent of Apple's notebooks and monitors.

The Apple win bodes well for the No. 2 LCD display maker, which has been hard hit amid waning demand in LCDs. Just last month LG said it was cutting factory capacity in the fourth quarter, and that the average selling price of its LCD panels would fall by a percentage in the low 20s in the same period.

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"Due to the demand slowdown resulting from the global economic recession, we have been adjusting the input volume of glass substrates since the third quarter," said LG CFO James Jeong, in a statement. "We expect our factory utilization rate to be about 80 percent in the fourth quarter."

LG rival Sharp has also seen sales slump and in December announced belt-tightening measures that included cutting 29 percent of its temporary workforce.

Last year, both LG and Sharp were caught in a price fixing scandal. In a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice in November, LG agreed to pay a $400,000 fine.