- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 31, 2012

BRUSSELS (AP) - The European Union’s antitrust watchdog says it is investigating whether Samsung Electronics is trying to illegally prevent competitors from using key patents for mobile devices, including Apple’s latest iPad.

The European Commission said Tuesday it suspects Samsung of not giving other companies fair access to patents it holds on standardized technology for mobile devices _ despite committing to do so in 1998.

A spokeswoman for the Commission said the probe also affects tablets such as Apple’s newest iPad, which includes the standardized wireless technology.

The Commission said that Samsung last year sought legal injunctions against other device makers in several EU states, alleging patent infringement.

The probe comes just as Samsung is locked in a battle with Apple over whether its Galaxy tablet too closely resembles the iPad.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

BRUSSELS (AP) _ The European Union’s antitrust watchdog says it is probing whether Samsung Electronics has illegally prevented competitors from using key patents on mobile phones.

The European Commission said Tuesday it suspects Samsung of not giving other companies fair access to patents it holds on standardized technology for mobile phones _ despite committing to do so in 1998.

The Commission said that Samsung last year sought legal injunctions against other device makers in several EU states, alleging patent infringement.

The probe comes just as Samsung is locked in a battle with Apple over whether its Galaxy tablet too closely resembles the iPad.

A spokesman for the Commission couldn’t immediately say whether the patents also affect tablet computers.