Oct 25, 2013 09:14 AM EDT

Samsung Fined Millions For Hiring Online Trolls to Diss HTC

Samsung has been playing it dirty when it comes to consumer ratings, and the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission has decided to teach the tech giant a lesson by fining the company 10 million New Taiwan dollars.

 Ever wonder why there are so many negative reviews about the fairly good HTC brand? It's because Samsung actually outsourced personnel to leave negative comments about HTC's devices to lay out a smear campaign. After investigation, Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission has declared that Samsung violated Section 24 of the country's Fair Trade Law.

The scam came into light where a website called TaiwanSamsungLeaks.com started publishing transcripts and internal documents supporting the claim. TaiwanSamsungLeaks.com also publicized the actual anti-HTC comments that the "trolls" in various forums and websites. Companies that supported this black propaganda, Peng Thai Company (NTD $3m), and Dolly Company (NTD $50,000), were also fined.

Samsung has released a statement about the issue and claims that their actions were mere parts of an online marketing campaign.

"We are disappointed that the Taiwan FTC has decided that we have violated the Fair Trade Act based on online marketing activities. However, we remain committed to engaging in transparent and honest communication with consumers," says a Samsung spokesperson as reported by The Register.

"Samsung Electronics Taiwan is carefully reviewing the decision and will take all necessary steps to protect our reputation as a company which values its customers. Samsung Electronics Taiwan will continue to provide exceptional value for consumers in Taiwan through a wide variety of innovative products and services," added the spokesperson in the same report.

HTC is yet to release an official statement related to the matter, but their marketing team can breathe fresh air now that the trolling scandal has been put to rest.

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