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The probe is yet another facet of the two companies' ongoing patent dispute that has spilled into 10 countries, and comes less than two weeks after the jury in a landmark U.S. case found Samsung responsible for over $1 billion in damages for violating Apple's design and utility patents.
According to an unnamed FTC official, the body is conducting the investigation after Apple filed a set of complaints earlier this year, asserting the Korean electronics giant was leveraging its dominant portfolio of wireless technology to compete unfairly against rivals in the lucrative mobile market, reports Reuters.
Samsung is also the target of a similar probe being conducted by the European Commission, the European Union's competition watchdog, to determine whether the company's use of declared standards-essential FRAND patents in high profile suits violates EU antitrust laws. In that case, Samsung promised to license certain essential 3G patents to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, and the company contends it has diligently met its FRAND obligations.
The two rival companies are also set to begin a number of patent trials and hearings in Germany, with Apple asserting a variety of Samsung devices infringed on design and software patents.