We actually heard about this earlier this year, but no one really thought it was true. But the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission had an investigation in April into the allegations that Samsung had paid students to post negative online comments about the HTC One. While at the same time these students were paid to recommend Samsung phones. The commission in Taiwan stated that this is similar to false advertising.
The commission has fined Samsung, and have also fined two Taiwanese trading companies it claims were responsible for the internet campaign. In a statement today, Samsung stated they were "disappointed" in the Taiwan FTC's decision. "However, we remain committed to engaging in transparent and honest communication with consumers," stated Samsung. "Samsung Electronics Taiwan is carefully reviewing the decision and will take all necessary steps to protect our reputation as a company which values its customers. Samsung Electronics Taiwan will continue to provide exceptional value for consumers in Taiwan through a wide variety of innovative products and services."
So Samsung didn't actually admit to hiring students to write negative comments about the HTC One. But they didn't deny it either. What's also interesting is that this is in Taiwan, where HTC's headquarters is. The same manufacturer that just posted their first operating loss since going public in 2002. Their products do stand toe-to-toe with the competition, unfortunately the competition's advertising and marketing is that much better. Which is a shame. HTC had hired a new marketing director, and just four months later she left the company. So this could be the Taiwan FTC trying to help out HTC, but I'm not too sure on that.
So $340,000 fine for Samsung. That's chump change for them. They probably made that much money in the time it took me to write this article But a fine is a fine, hopefully they can continue to succeed without doing underhanded things like this. How many of you believe that this was the right call by the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission? Let us know in the comments below .