South Korean company is under investigation by Taiwanese authorities following the allegations that they paid students to post malicious comments about competing device manufacturer – HTC. People have allegedly been instructed and paid to write articles where they had to recommend Samsung and criticize HTC devices, while doing the same actions with comments posted throughout the web, according to the yesterday’s report by the AFP.
Entire case began when authorities received a bunch of complaints last week. AFP tried to get more information from Samsung Taiwan, but the official at that time said that the company was not yet informed of the investigation by the FTC (Fair Trade Commission). Soon after, the official statement followed:
"Samsung Electronics remains committed to engaging in transparent and honest communications with consumers as outlined in the company’s Online Communications Credo. We have encouraged all Samsung Electronics employees worldwide to remain faithful to our Credo.
The recent incident was unfortunate, and occurred due to insufficient understanding of these fundamental principles. Samsung Electronics Taiwan (SET) has ceased all marketing activities that involve the posting of anonymous comments, and will ensure that all SET online marketing activities will be fully compliant with the company’s Online Communications Credo.
We regret any inconvenience this incident may have caused. We will continue to reinforce education and training for our employees to prevent any future recurrence."
This statement to media came after some posts on their Facebook page, where they noted that the "Samsung Taiwan has halted all Internet marketing such as posting articles on websites," and that they regret "any inconvenience and confusion from the Internet event." Apparently, Samsung was already fined with Tw$300,000 (around $10,000) over the misleading advertisement about camera functionality in Galaxy Y Duos GT-S6102 and once again in September 2012 for price fixing (case of Toshiba Samsung Storage Tech, jointly owned company), but the penalty in this case could be as high as Tw$25 million ($835,000). Samsung has an overwhelming advantage over HTC in smartphone market share, and practices such as this one deserve severe condemnation – regardless of the parties involved.