The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) said a court has ordered the local unit of Samsung Electronics to pay a penalty of A$14 million ($9.65 million) over misleading claims about a water-resistance feature in some of its smartphones.
Samsung Australia admitted to misleading buyers of some of its Galaxy smartphones about the water-resistance level. The regulator had first sued Samsung in July 2019.
Between March 2016 and October 2018, Samsung ran in-store and social media advertisements that claimed the Galaxy smartphones could be used in pools or sea water.
The ACCC 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 smartphones. Many consumers who purchased a Galaxy smartphone may have been exposed to the misleading ads before they made their decision to purchase a new phone, said ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb.