Samsung Australia fined $9.7 million over false water resistance claims

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Australia’s competition regulator said on Thursday a court ordered the local unit of Samsung Electronics to pay a fine of 14 million Australian dollars ($9.65 million) over misleading claims about a sealing in some of its smartphones.

Samsung Australia has admitted misleading buyers of some of its ‘Galaxy’ phones about the level of water resistance, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has said. The regulator first sued the company in July 2019.

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The regulator said between March 2016 and October 2018, the company ran in-store and social media ads claiming the phones could be used in swimming pools or seawater.

The ACCC, however, has received hundreds of complaints from users claiming that the smartphones malfunctioned or even stopped working altogether 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 misleading advertisements before making their decision to purchase a new phone,” the company said. ACCC President, Gina Cass-Gottlieb.

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Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

($1 = 1.4512 Australian dollars)

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