South Korea’s antitrust watchdog said Monday that it has fined Groupon Inc.’s Korean office for posting fake reviews and for fabricating the number of products sold.
An employee at Groupon Korea wrote 147 reviews of products on the Groupon Web site pretending to be a customer who purchased and used the item, the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said in a statement.
The firm was also found to have inflated the number of products it had sold.
The FTC imposed a 17 million won ($14,773) fine and instructed the company to display details of the penalty on its Web site for four days.
The FTC announcement comes as competition ratchets up in the market for online daily discount deals in South Korea. Groupon, which is the market leader in the United States, faces an uphill battle with local rivals such as Coupang and Ticket Monster in the Asian country.
The fair trade agency also fined three other operators of online group buying Web sites for fabricating the number of products they had sold.
Groupon Korea said in a statement released after the penalty that the deceptive reviews were posted before August and the firm had taken corrective measures.