South Korea opens antitrust probe into Samsung

Summary:Samsung is now being investigated by two antitrust authorities -- in Europe and now South Korea -- following a complaint by Apple.

South Korean antitrust authorities have opened an investigation into claims that Samsung is abusing its dominant market position, following complaints filed by Apple.

It follows similar action by the European Union's antitrust authorities, which are examining whether Samsung "abusively" used standard-essential patents -- technologies that must be licensed fairly because they are critical to competitors' compatibility -- to "distort competition" by using them as ammunition in European lawsuits.

A Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) official, speaking anonymously to the Associated Press, said the commission was "reviewing whether allegations in the complaint lodged by Apple are true."

"Apple filed a complaint earlier this year that Samsung is breaching fair trade laws."

Despite the two companies' component partnership -- Apple iPhones and iPads contain Samsung-built chips -- both firms remain bitter rivals in the smartphone and tablet space as they clamber for relevance and market share in an already overflowing market.

Apple won a landmark victory in the U.S. after a jury found that Samsung had copied elements of the iPhone, leading to Samsung paying Apple more than $1 billion in damages.

A Samsung spokesperson told Reuters that the company, "has at all times met its obligations to the fair licensing of its telecommunications standards-related patents."

Topics: Samsung, Apple, EU, Legal, Patents

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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