The Fair Trade Commission yesterday dished out fines amounting to NT$9.42 million (US$287,700) to a TV shopping company and two consumer electronics providers for running fraudulent and misleading advertising.
Eastern Home Shopping Network (東森購物), which runs four TV shopping channels, received the largest fine of NT$5.27 million, according to a statement released by the commission.
Genuine C & C Inc (捷元), a distributor of computers, monitors and other electronics products, was fined NT$3.98 million for two misleading advertisements while JP Computer Ltd (僑品電腦) was given a fine of NT$170,000 for one advertisement, the statement said.
The commission found that three commercials that ran on Eastern Home Shopping's channels during the first half of last year carried exaggerated content.
For example, Genuine C & C claimed in March last year that the 19-inch liquid-crystal-display TV it was promoting came equipped with the fastest memory on the market (DDR433). However, more advanced DDR466, 500 and 600 memory technology were already available at the time, commissioner Chou Ya-shu (周雅淑) said during a telephone interview.
She said Eastern Home Shopping was punished severely because it acted as more than just a platform for retailers to sell products.
It had in fact closely co-operated with the two companies by holding joint broadcasting meetings to decide which channel to place the ads on and how to divide the profits, Chou said.
"This is the biggest fine Eastern Home Shopping has been given since its first offense in 2004," she said, adding that the company had the right to make an appeal with the commission if it found the punishment unreasonable.
Eastern Home Shopping said in a press release that it accepted the commission's decision although it was only a shopping platform. The company will continue to make improvements and carefully choose retailers and products to serve its customers' best interests, it said.