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FedEx’s South Korea problem…

For the past two years, FedEx (FDX) has been dealing with (and routinely disclosing) a grand-jury subpoena from the Department of Justice related to a criminal investigation of anti-competitive behavior in the air-freight transportation industry. As Reuters reported at the time, the subpoena appeared to focus on air surcharge fees imposed after Sept. 11.

But in the 10K filed late yesterday, FedEx disclosed two new investigations, including a second subpoena from the DOJ “relating to its investigation of the international freight forwarding industry” and an investigation by the Korea Fair Trade Commission . According to the filing, the KFTC request for “certain information and documents in connection with the KFTC’s investigation into possible anti-competitive behavior relating to air cargo transportation services in South Korea” is pretty recent, having just been made in July 2008.

It’s hard to figure out how important South Korea is to FedEx. The last time the country was mentioned in any of its filings was back in early 2004, when it filed this 8K announcing the completion of its acquisition of Kinko’s. It’s also not the only foreign entity looking into FedEx’s business overseas. As the company previously disclosed in last year’s 10K, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has also requested documents from the company last summer.

For the count, there’s three DOJ subpoenas and investigations in both Australia and South Korea. Presumably, this is focused on similar issues, though FedEx doesn’t really provide enough information in the filing and only seems to update this in the K, as opposed to any of its Qs. In the filing, the company says that it does “not believe that we have engaged in any anti-competitive activities, and we are cooperating with these investigations.”