Samsung fined $14 million by Australia for misleading advertising

Theo Neowin, a case brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in 2019 involved waterproof advertisements from Samsung about seven Galaxy smartphones. The ACCC took Samsung to court for misleading and deceiving customers with its claims about smartphones with more than 300 advertisements since February 2016.

Samsung fined $14 million by Australia for misleading ads - Photo 1

A misleading Samsung advertisement regarding the water resistance of the Galaxy A5

guardian screenshot

Ads have been posted on social media, online, TV, billboards, brochures and other media depicting the phone as being water resistant. They are being used at pools and beaches, while Samsung also advertises them as 1.5-meter water resistance for 30 minutes.

However, the penalty is for a much smaller set of ads. Samsung has agreed as part of a settlement to nine misleading advertisements for seven Galaxy smartphones. The company also acknowledges that if the device is used in salt water or a pool there could be a risk of material damage from corroding the phone’s charging port.

Samsung has fixed this issue with hardware and software changes in other Galaxy phone models.

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Judge Michael Murphy approved a settlement between Samsung and the ACCC, and said many consumers will use their phones as depicted in this ad based on representative images. According to him, the $ 14 million penalty will act as a deterrent enough for what Samsung has received from the past 6 years.

Mr. Murphy added that Samsung only cooperated to resolve the matter recently after years of protesting the ACCC case.

ACCC President Gina Cass-Gottlieb welcomed the ruling and said: “This penalty is a powerful reminder to businesses that all product claims must be substantiated. The ACCC will continue to take enforcement action against businesses that mislead consumers with claims about the nature or benefits of their products.”

Samsung will pay a $14 million fine along with a $200,000 fee as a contribution to the ACCC’s costs within 30 days of the ruling.

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