updated 09:52 am EDT, Thu October 24, 2013
Campaign violates local fair-trade regulations
Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission has reportedly levied a $340,000 fine against Samsung in response to an online marketing campaign targeting HTC. The Korean company in April admitted to paying shill commenters for posting negative feedback regarding HTC devices and positive buzz surrounding Samsung handsets.
The FTC also ordered several smaller companies to pay fines for managing the marketing campaign, according to an AP report.
The anonymous shill users are said to have posted a wide range of negative feedback, including claims that HTC's One X suffers from frequent crashing. Other comments are said to have referenced false benchmark reports and praised Samsung's devices.
As part of the initial admission, Samsung promised to cease all marketing activities that involve posting anonymous comments. Aside from shill comments, however, recent reports suggest the company is using software tricks to artificially inflate benchmark scores for its latest mobile devices.