(Reuters) –Australia‘s competition regulator said on Thursday a court ordered the local unit of Samsung Electronics to pay a A$14 million ($9.65 million) penalty for nine misleading advertisements about a water-resistance feature in some of its smartphones.
Samsung Australia admitted to misleading buyers of some of its ‘Galaxy‘ phones about the water-resistance level, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) said. The regulator had first sued the company https://www.reuters.com/article/australia-samsung-elec-regulator-idINS9N21Y008 in July 2019.
Samsung Australia said in a statement that this was not an issue in its newer, current models.
The ACCC, however, received hundreds of complaints from users saying the smartphones did not function properly or even stopped working entirely after being exposed to water.
The claims “promoted an important selling point for these Galaxy phones. Many consumers who purchased a Galaxy phone may have been exposed to the misleading ads before they made their decision to purchase a new phone,” said ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb.
($1 = 1.4512 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Harshita Swaminathan, additional reporting by Navya Mittal; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)