Samsung has been fined for creating and posting negative reviews about competing smartphones, according to a report from Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission.
Reports first surfaced in April that Samsung had been hiring students to write and post negative reviews about HTC products, while also praising Samsung products. The Fair Trade Commission began investigating and had the option of dinging Samsung up to $835,000, but has settled on a fine closer to $340,000.
Unfortunately, our guess is that the damage is already done. Samsung’s Galaxy S4 launched to a lot of praise earlier this year, though HTC is largely the underdog in this fight. Its HTC One handset has generally been considered a success, especially by tech reviewers, though the company has struggled to compete against Samsung, LG and others in the low-end and mid-range smartphone markets. It’s a shame these tactics were used and hopefully it’s the last time.