Watchdog attacks Google and Amazon for fake reviews Business

Competition officials need to consider whether individuals and businesses may have posted fake reviews online with too much impunity.

The Competition and Markets Authority has opened a formal investigation to find out whether Amazon and Google have done enough to crack down on this practice.

CMA Managing Director Andrea Coscelli said: “Our concern is that millions of online shoppers could be misled into reading bogus reviews and then spending their money based on these recommendations.

“Likewise, it’s just not fair that some companies can fake five-star reviews to give their products or services the utmost importance, while law-abiding companies lose out.”

The watchdog said that over the past year it has become concerned that the two tech giants are not doing enough to spot false and misleading reviews or suspicious behavior.

In some cases, users may have reviewed the same line of products or companies, or sometimes the reviews suggest that the writer was paid or was prompted to write the post.

He questioned whether the two were doing enough to investigate and promptly remove false and misleading reviews from their platforms, and impose adequate penalties on reviewers or companies engaged in the practice.

“It is important that these technology platforms take responsibility and we are ready to act if we find that they are not doing enough,” Coscelli said.

The CMA said its concerns were sparked by an initial one-year investigation, which prompted it to launch this formal investigation.

If it finds that the two companies are not doing enough, the CMA could force them to change the way they operate.

But officials stressed they had not yet determined whether either had broken the law.

Last year, Facebook, Instagram and eBay took down groups and banned individuals from buying or selling fake reviews on their sites.

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This notice was published: 2021-06-25 06:56:53

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