Authorities from Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission have put out a statement saying that Samsung‘s local branch is currently under investigation due to alleged advertising malpractice against rival HTC. Samsung Taiwan reportedly launched a covert advertising campaign wherein students posing as anonymous online users posted negative comments about HTC while recommending Samsung products at the same time. The whole incident first came to the attention of the FTC in Taiwan last week.
According to an FTC representative who spoke with the AFP, Samsung could be fined up to Tw$25 million or about $825,000 if the allegations about the online advertising fiasco all turn out to be true. The complaints, which first got sent to the Taiwanese FTC earlier this month, claim that Samsung acted with the aid of a local advertising agency.
Samsung Taiwan has already issued a statement regarding the incident through a post on its official Facebook page, saying that it regretted “any inconvenience and confusion” caused by it. The company has also stopped engaging in any form of online marketing that involves “posting articles on websites.” In the past, Samsung has already been fined twice for two different violations and likely wishes to prevent a third one at all costs.