Korea investigating Samsung over Apple antitrust claims

The country's Fair Trade Commission says Apple has complained that Samsung is using wireless technology patents to limit competition.

South Korea's competition watchdog is launching an investigation into Samsung's practices.

The country's Fair Trade Commission today announced that it would investigate the ways in which Samsung is using its wireless technology patents to address competition in the marketplace. Reuters, first to report the news, said an FTC official claimed Apple filed the complaints against Samsung earlier this year, arguing that Samsung is using its patents to hurt competition.

There is certainly no love lost between Apple and Samsung. The companies are waging patent disputes worldwide, and last month Apple won a major victory in San Jose, Calif., that could see some Samsung products banned from sale and the iPhone maker net more than $1 billion in fees .

That Apple is taking the fight to Samsung's front door in Korea is not a surprise -- this battle, after all, has turned bloody.

Back in 1998, Samsung agreed with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute to license patents on a fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory basis, Reuters reports. Apple argues that Samsung has not held up its end of the bargain. Samsung, meanwhile, says it has. Now it's the FTC's turn to decide which side is right.

CNET has contacted both Apple and Samsung for comment on the FTC's inquiry. We will update this story when we have more information.

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About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.



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