BRUSSELS - EU competition enforcers have extended a near two-year investigation into Hungarian state aid for South Korean manufacturer Samsung SDI Co Ltd's electric vehicle (EV) battery factory after Hungary submitted new data to back its case.
Samsung SDI, an affiliate of South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, began production at the Hungarian plant in 2018, making batteries for 50,000 EVs a year.
The European Commission opened an investigation in October 2019 to assess whether Hungary's plans to grant 108 million euros ($128.5 million) in state aid complied with the bloc's competition rules.
"Hungary now argues that Samsung could have benefited from an investment grant and a tax exemption in an alternative location outside the EU, which would have increased the viability of the alternative location with respect to Hungary," the Commission said.
It said Budapest has also produced new documentary evidence to show that Samsung's search for a location for the plant had also included a number of new production facilities in Europe and an alternative location in a less developed region in the EU.
Extending the EU investigation will allow third parties to comment on the Hungarian aid.
Earlier this year, Samsung said it would invest 942 billion won ($849 million) to expand the plant.
($1 = 0.8403 euros)
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by David Evans) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; +32 2 287 6844; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))