Samsung fined $340,000 for online smear campaign and fraudulent reviews

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samsung, ftc, samsung 830 series, fair trade commission, astroturfing, smear campaign

Back in April Samsung was put under investigation for alleged fraudulent online comments and negative assertions about its competitors. The Taiwanese Fair Trade Commission since found Samsung to be guilty of generating fake online comments through a large network of paid writers and even certain employees.

Taiwan's FTC stated that the fraudulent online presence, a practice generally referred to as "astroturfing," was done through outside marketing firms. This is something Samsung has admitted to in the past, according to previous reports. Samsung has now been fined over $340,000 for its involvement, and two local third party marketing firms have also been slapped with fines combining to more than $100,000.

Originally reports of Samsung's underhanded activity came along which accusations that the company was targeting HTC in Korea. But the FTC's report simply says that Samsung paid individuals to conduct smear campaigns against competing devices, highlighting the negative aspects of them, and does not mention any of the companies Samsung went after specifically. The FTC also claims that Samsung engaged in "disinfection" of negative reviews and comments, fraudulent "evaluation" of its products and deceptive, "palindromic" marketing campaigns.

While Samsung is certainly not the only major company involved in this kind of activity, it does seem to be the one getting caught the most recently. Earlier this year the company was fined $300,000 for a fraudulent marketing campaign for its Galaxy Y Duos GT-S6102.

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