Samsung buys 10 percent stake in rival phone maker Pantech


Hang around these pages long enough and you're bound to come across Pantech, the South Korean purveyor of everything from giant 1080p handsets down to... giant 720p handsets. Samsung has noticed this rising star too and, so says Yonhap News, has now made a $50 million investment in the smaller company in return for a 10 percent stake. Implicit in that is that the Korean government has allowed Samsung's ever-expanding influence to infiltrate a potential rival, since Pantech is now the No. 3 phone maker in that country and only Qualcomm and a state-run bank possess larger stakes than Samsung's. As a result, the acquisition could have an anti-competitive aura to it -- but then, Pantech has actually been struggling of late, not least with large debts, and it has relied on big backers to bail it out.