Sometimes companies do stupid things to market their products. A silly commercial here. A ridiculous junket there. That's all fine and good, but sometimes companies overdo it, companies like Samsung who just got slapped with a $340,000 fine in Taiwan for illegally paying people to trash talk HTC in forums.

The fine comes after Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission (FTC) opened an investigation into Samsung's marketing practice last April. The commission was specifically looking into allegations that Samsung had used a "large number of hired writers and designated employees" to "highlight the shortcomings of competing products," products that all happened to have HTC's logo on them. Those allegations turned out to be true—Samsung even admitted it—and now the company has to pay.

What's worse than Samsung's brazen astroturfing is the fact that they can't stop doing it. It's only been a few weeks since Samsung was caught bribing people to talking up their developer competition in online forums. You'd think the company would have learned from their constant patent trolling that dirty tricks don't work. [AP]

Image via Flickr / opopododo