Cops swoop on Applied, Hynix executives

* Update: Bloomberg reports that a total of 19 people were indicted – 10 from Applied, four from Samsung and five from Hynix. Four have been arrested and detained and it’s alleged 94 techs related to NAND and DRAM were involved, with the alleged industrial espionage continuing over a four year period.

Three people from Hynix and Applied Materials have been arrested by South Korean authorities and are accused of misappropiating semiconductor technology from Samsung.

According to the Wall Street Journal, another 14 people from Applied, Hynix and Samsung are being investigated by the authorities.

Applied Materials is a manufacturer of equipment used by semiconductor companies to make their chips. Hynix and Samsung are direct rivals in the memory market.

Applied has filed a note about the arrests with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.  It said that it’s learned that the Seoul Prosecutor’s Office for the Eastern District in Korea has taken “certain actions into the alleged improper receipt and use of a customer’s confidential information”.

The former head of Applied Korea, who is now a VP at the company and other Korean employees have been indicted and arrested. Applied said there are defences to the charges.

It’s taking measures to address the arrest and indictments, it said in the SEC filing.