SEOUL — South Korea's antitrust watchdog said Thursday it was probing a complaint from US technology giant Apple that rival Samsung Electronics abused its dominant market position in wireless technology.
Apple's action, reportedly taken in June, is part of a long-running global patent war between the smartphone giants, which have accused each other of stealing intellectual property for their own products.
"For our probe, we have asked both sides to send related documents," a Fair Trade Commission (FTA) official told AFP on condition of anonymity, declining to give details.
Both Samsung and Apple Korea declined to comment.
The commission is expected to review Apple's argument by comparing the two companies' market share and the influence of Samsung's third-generation wireless telecoms technology, Yonhap news agency said.
In the patent row, Apple has been emphasising its design and user experience technology, while Samsung has countered with its telecommunications patents.
Earlier this year, the European Commission launched an investigation into whether Samsung's use of wireless patents breaks EU antitrust rules.
In August, a South Korean court ruled that Apple violated two 3G Samsung technology patents.
But Apple won $1.05 billion on August 24, when a California jury found Samsung infringed dozens of patents held by Apple.
Samsung has vowed to contest the verdict, saying courts in other countries had previously ruled it had not copied Apple's designs. A Japanese court rejected Apple's claim that Samsung stole its technology.
Apple filed a fresh patent infringement action last week in the United States.
The US giant is seeking permanent injunctions banning the sale of all 28 Samsung devices in the United States. A hearing is set for September 20.
Samsung has vowed to take "all necessary measures" to keep its products on US store shelves.
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