Samsung probe underway in Taiwan over allegations of smear campaign against HTC

Word surfaced on Monday that authorities in Taiwan have launched an investigation into technology firm Samsung. The allegation in the case is that Samsung hired students to post malicious comments about rival HTC online. A Taiwanese Fair Trade Commission spokesman has stated that the investigation began last week after complaints were filed.

According to the spokesperson, the probe will investigate whether Samsung engaged in false advertisement. If the investigation confirms that Samsung did engage in false advertising, Samsung and its marketing agency in Taiwan could be fined up to $835,000. Reports indicate that complaints about Samsung's advertising practices first surfaced this month with Internet users claiming that Samsung had used its local advertising agent to hire students to write online articles besmirching HTC.

The students allegedly recommended Samsung devices instead of the HTC devices in the posts. Samsung Taiwan says that it has not yet been informed of the investigation by the Fair Trade Commission. However, reports indicate that the Samsung Taiwan Facebook page has posted that the company regrets "any inconvenience and confusion from the Internet event."

The company Facebook page also says that all Internet marketing events, including posting articles on websites has been halted. Samsung Taiwan has a history of questionable advertisement and was fined Tw$300,000 last year for misleading advertisements about camera functions on its own Galaxy Y Duos GT-S6102 device.

[via Inquirer]