Samsung is under investigation in Taiwan for allegedly hiring students to write online articles attacking HTC and recommending its handsets.
"The case was set up last week after we received complaints," Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission spokesman Sun Lih-chyun told AFP in a report Monday. The probe would look into allegations that Samsung engaged in false advertising, and if found guilty it could face a fine of up to TW$25 million (US$835,000).
According to the report, an official at Samsung Taiwan said the company had not been informed of the investigation by the Fair Trade Commission.
However, the news site pointed out Samsung Taiwan posted a statement on its Facebook page saying it regretted "any inconvenience and confusion from the Internet event" and had halted all Internet marketing such as posting articles on Web sites.
In a statement to ZDNet, Samsung Electronics said the recent incident was unfortunate, and occurred due to insufficient understanding of the company's online communications guidelines.
"Samsung Electronics Taiwan (SET) has ceased all marketing activities that involve the posting of anonymous comments, and will ensure that all SET online marketing activities will be fully compliant with the company's Online Communications Credo," it added.
When contacted by ZDNet, HTC said it was unable to comment on rumors and speculation.