Samsung Electronics Co. is spending $8 billion to buy its way into a burgeoning market for automotive technology alongside Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Google as the smartphone business wanes.

The company is making its largest-ever overseas acquisition with an offer for Harman International Industries Inc. (NYSE: HAR), angling to become the go-to supplier of everything from in-car entertainment to connected-auto services. It comes days after Samsung Group heir-apparent Jay Y. Lee formally ascended to the board of the electronics firm, a move expected to shore up his influence over the family-run conglomerate’s prized asset.

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