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Govt closes antitrust probe of Samsung

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February 7, 2014 01:25 PM EST | AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department says it has closed an investigation of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. over alleged misuse of patents to exclude some Apple iPhone and iPad models from the U.S. market.

Apple Inc. has said some Samsung wireless patents are being offered on unfair terms, hurting competition. Companies like Samsung owning the rights to essential phone technology must license it to competitors on fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms.

Samsung obtained an exclusion order against Apple from the U.S. International Trade Commission that would have barred the import of some Apple smart phones and tablet computers.

The U.S. Trade Representative overturned the order, and as a result, the Justice Department said it is closing its investigation. The department says it will continue to monitor developments in the area.