Officials in Taiwan are looking into accusations that Samsung arranged for negative reviews to be published about rival company HTC.
Samsung is under scrutiny for allegedly having hired students to post negative reviews about its rival company, the Taiwan-based HTC. Fair-trade officials are currently investigating the matter, but if Samsung is found guilty of what is being labeled as “false advertising”, the company could face fines of up to 25 million Taiwanese dollars (USD 840,000).
According to a spokesperson for Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission, the investigation began after receiving a series of complaints. A website had published documents which showed how Samsung had been recruiting students for the purpose of writing praising reviews for Samsung’s phones while criticizing HTC anonymously on the web.
Samsung, which is based in South Korea, said that the false advertising was against the fundamental principles of the company. "The recent incident was unfortunate, and occurred due to insufficient understanding of these fundamental principles," said a spokesperson. The Taiwan subsidiary of Samsung stated that it had not been informed about the investigation, but have announced that they have "ceased all marketing activities that involve the posting of anonymous comments". Furthermore they have stated that they plan to train employees in order to prevent this kind of thing from happening again.