Samsung has been fined $US340,000 after it was found to be
paying people to post negative reviews about HTCproducts in online forums in Taiwan.
Last April, Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) opened an investigation into Samsung’s marketing practice, specifically certain allegations that Samsung had designated its employees (and hired writers) to highlight the shortcomings of competitor’s products.
Those allegations turned out to be true; two local marketing firms were fined a combined total of over $US100,000 for their part in the marketing ploy.
This practice – called astroturfing – is something Samsung is familiar with. In August, Samsung was caught bribing people to talking up their developer competition in the online community, Stack Overflow.