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Samsung Fined $340,000 For Mounting An Internet Campaign Against HTC

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In this April 10, 2013 photo, a saleswoman displays new Samsung smartphones at a retail shop in Taipei, Taiwan. Taiwanese companies have long viewed tech giant Samsung as a major threat and the battle has recently appeared to tilt in favor of the South Korean rival as Taiwan's smartphone, memory chip and display panel makers suffered sagging exports. The sales erosion has been driven by competition, some of it from South Korea, and a weak global economy but has also spawned fears on this export- | AP

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission on Thursday fined the local unit of South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. for undermining the reputation of Taiwanese mobile phone maker HTC Corp.

In a notice on its website, the consumer protection body said that Samsung had organized an Internet campaign in violation of fair trade rules to praise Samsung smartphones while slamming those of HTC.

The FTC set Samsung's fine at New Taiwan dollars 10 million ($340,000). It also leveled smaller fines on two Taiwanese trading companies it said were responsible for mounting the Internet campaign.

Earlier this year the FTC fined Samsung NT$300,000 for misleading advertising about the camera functions on its Galaxy Y Duos GT-S6102 phone.

The FTC action comes with HTC badly on the defensive amid disappointing sales for its once popular smartphones.

The company, which posted its first quarterly loss in the July-September period, has suffered a drop in its global handset market share from a high of 10.3 percent in the third quarter of 2011 to only 2.6 percent in the third quarter of 2013.

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