If you think it's a good business practice to hype your own product online, Samsung (and ABC) can tell you differently. After they were caught paying for comments online, they have now been fined $341,037 by the FTC, according to PC World on Oct. 24.
Back in April, Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission announced it was looking into allegations against the Korean company and it has found allegations were true. Using a third-party marketing company, “a large number of hired writers and designated employees" were used to post in forums positively about the company and negatively about competitors. Two marketing firms were also fined a combined total over $100,000 for their role in the scheme.
Posts included complaints about Taiwan company HTC's phones as well as posting positive reviews of Samsung's phones versus HTC. The practice, known as astroturfing in the marketing industry, is definitely looked down upon. And this isn't even the first time Samsung has been caught using this method. It was also caught earlier this year, according to The Verge.
The FTC also fined Samsung this year for making misleading claims about the camera on it's Galaxy Y Duos phone, according to The Associated Press.