“Both sides had said they hoped to avoid a legal battle. Given that Samsung is one of Apple’s biggest suppliers, the companies had a strong incentive to move beyond their dispute and build on their ongoing partnership. Yet the two-day mediated talks between the CEOs in late May ended in impasse, with both sides refusing to back down from their arguments.”
The 2011 legal battle between Apple and Samsung just keeps on giving to those learning negotiation. Two key thoughts for today:
- If you asked 100 people about the relationship between Apple and Samsung, probably all 100 would describe them as technological competitors. This is certainly true, and yet Samsung is also a major supplier to Apple, and they have a vested interest in working together. Even seemingly clear-cut negotiations or relationships very often have more to them than meets the eye.
- Incredibly strong relationships and incentives to work together are still no guarantee that this will actually happen. The very natural need to ‘be right’, and to feel that you have stood up for your beliefs, can be just as powerful a force in the opposite direction.
With thanks to: Harvard Program on Negotiation