Samsung has found itself involved in legal issues once again. The Taiwanese Fair Trade Commission is probing Samsung over allegations that the tech giant had paid students to promote and publish negative reviews about rival HTC’s devices online.
The Taiwanese Fair Trade Commission launched its probe after receiving a number of complaints against Samsung, which is being alleged to have paid students to post comments dismissing HTC products online, while recommending Samsung products at the same time. A Taiwanese site, TaiwanSamsungLeaks, is said to have broken the news, when it published evidence from Samsung’s marketing firm indicating the different posts that were made by it over the past year.
One such post involved a user complaining that his girlfriend’s HTC One X was unstable and that the Galaxy Note was superior to HTC Sensation XL. Other forms of anonymous posts referred to superior benchmark scores and better battery life of Samsung handsets over HTC devices.
Samsung Taiwan termed it an ‘unfortunate incident’, and said it regretted “any inconvenience and confusion from the Internet event.”
The recent incident was unfortunate, and occurred due to insufficient understanding of Samsung’s fundamental principles.
– Samsung Taiwan
For now, Samsung has suspended all internet marketing, and is planning to train employees to prevent such incidents in the future.
If found guilty of “false advertising”, the phone manufacturer could be slapped with fines of up to of 25 million Taiwanese dollars ($835,000).
Samsung has been previously involved with the Fair Trade Commission as well. In January this year, it was fined about 300,000 Taiwanese dollars (about $10,000) for a misleading advertisement about one of its budget phones – the Galaxy Y Duos GT-S6102.
Samsung is not unknown to legal trouble. Just last week, Samsung’s offices and factories in South Korea were raided by the police investigating the theft of sensitive OLED technology from LG Display. It has faced many patent infringement lawsuits, and its court cases with Apple are also well known.
Samsung is the world’s biggest Android smartphone manufacturer right now, and holds about 30% share of the entire global smartphone market. HTC and Samsung have been arch rivals for quite some time now, and the latter has been known to be the more dominant in the mobile phone sector. HTC has not commented on this story as of now. Incidentally, HTC itself has its base in Taiwan.