Samsung Fined for Paying for Negative Comments About HTC
It's been months since Samsung made the news for allegedly paying for negative comments about its competitors, but official investigations take time to run their course. As such, Samsung is only now facing the consequences of its actions. Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission has just levied a fine against the South Korean company for the 'astroturfing' campaign.
According to the Associated Press, Samsung has been handed a fine amounting to $340,000, while two Taiwanese trading companies that played a part in running the campaign also received fines. Back in April, it was alleged that Samsung's marketing division had hired students to post negative comments about the HTC One on a number of tech/gadget websites that linked to favorable benchmark results for the HTC One. At the time Samsung said that "future marketing work would be more in line with its company philosophy of transparency and honesty."
Though Samsung hasn't offered any official comment on the fine, the company hit the headlines this past summer when HTC publicly brought up the astroturfing incident. Samsung and HTC traded barbs following a UK awards show when HTC rubbed its winning Hottest Phone of 2013 (for the HTC One) in Samsung's face (via Twitter, of course). Samsung shot back that it had won three awards; HTC responded with a reference to paid reviews. HTC hasn't yet commented on the fines levied against Samsung (we'll keep an eye on their Twitter accounts, though).