On Thursday, June 23rd, Samsung was fined a penalty of $14 million Australian, which translates to 9.7$ million USD for misleading advertisements for some of its smartphones being water-resistant.
There were 9 cases on which the local court in Sydney passed the judgment. Samsung admitted that the ads were misleading about the water resistance levels in the Galaxy smartphones.
The users complained that the phones stopped working and malfunctioned while in areas such as pools and beaches or seawater, as shown in the advertisements. On account of the complaints of Australian users, The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) sued Samsung.
The settlement was made for only 7 phones, while the case was for 9 smartphones. Samsung settled for the 7 devices advertised between 2016 and 2018 as misleading and agreed to pay 9.7$ million in US currency.
Samsung was sued for the penalty by ACCC in 2019. The regulatory authority implied that between March 2016 and October 2018, the company ran in-store and social media advertisements that claimed the phones could be used in pools or seawater.
“Samsung Australia’s ads promoting its Galaxy phones featured people using their phones in pools and sea water, despite the fact that this could ultimately result in significant damage to the phone,”
-ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb.
Although Samsung and the ACCC agreed that the models released in the Australian market in March 2018 did not face experienced risks from water exposure.
Justice Michael Murphy passed the verdict, while the barrister for Samsung, Nicholas De Young, and the barrister for the ACCC, Caryn Van Procter, agreed on the 9.7 Million Dollar US settlement.
Samsung was ordered to pay $14m AUS plus a $200,000 contribution to the ACCC’s costs within 30 days of the order for the case & devices for settlement were Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, A5, A7, S8, S8 Plus, and Note8 smartphones. Samsung sold 3 million the Galaxy phone in the span between 2016 & 2018.
“Samsung Australia’s ads promoting its Galaxy phones featured people using their phones in pools and sea water, despite the fact that this could ultimately result in significant damage to the phone,” Ms Cass-Gottlieb said.
The chair of the ACCC, Gina Cass-Gottlieb, welcomed the verdict.
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