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HP cooperating with printing probes

The company continues to cooperate with European and South Korean investigators as they pursue separate investigations into the printing industry, according to an SEC filing.

Hewlett-Packard continues to cooperate with European and South Korean investigators as they pursue separate investigations into the printing industry, according to an HP filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.

Both investigations are reviewing the sale of printers and supplies to consumers in the respective international markets, with South Korea's Fair Trade Commission gearing up for a hearing in the early part of this year, according to the SEC filing.

"These are two separate investigations, in two different markets. The information they are asking for is specific to their market," said Doug Vaughan, an HP spokesman for the company's imaging and printing group.

The Korean investigation, which began nearly a year ago, is part of South Korea's effort to study how tech companies do business in its market. Earlier this month, executives affiliated with IBM Korea and a number of South Korean government officials were charged in an alleged bribery scheme involving government computer contracts.

The European Commission, meanwhile, launched its inquiry into the printing industry in 2002 and the investigation continues, according to HP's SEC filing.

"The investigation remains ongoing and we have received requests for information along the way," Vaughan said. "We have no sense of when things will be wrapped up. I'm not aware of any hearings scheduled for this."