Samsung being investigated for hiring students to criticize HTC online

samsung_galaxy_s_4_htc_oneTaiwanese authorities are investigating complaints alleging that the Korean manufacturer hired students in the country to attack HTC products and recommend Samsung, reports AFP.

Taiwanese Fair Trade Commission stated today that a case was set-up last week after they received the complaints.

HTC, on the other hand, is mulling legal action against the company for this smear campaign, reports Central News Agency in a separate report. “We regret our competitor’s malicious attacks and efforts to discredit us. HTC values product innovation and design, and we do not rule out the possibility of taking appropriate actions to protect the interests of our company and customers if necessary, the Taiwanese manufacturer noted in a statement issued by FTC revealed the on-going investigation against Samsung.

Samsung and its local advertising agents could be fined as much as NT$25 million (US$837,500) if it is found to have violated the Fair Trade Act, added AFP.

“The case against Samsung originated from some media reports on a post in an online forum on April 1 that said Samsung hired workers in Taiwan to open several sock-puppet accounts as part of a marketing campaign to promote its new flagship phone Galaxy S 4 in the country,” CNA noted in a report.

Soon after the online forum post went viral, Samsung came out in defence and posted a statement on its official Facebook page in Taiwan noting that it regrets any inconvenience and confusion from the Internet event.

“Samsung Taiwan has halted all Internet marketing such as posting articles on websites,” the statement added.

This is not the first action from Samsung that could face a fine, the company was earlier fined NT$300,000 by FTC for a misleading advertisement about the camera functions on Samsung’s Galaxy Y Duos GT-S6102 smartphone.



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