Amazon and Google investigated by UK’s competition watchdog over fake reviews

Amazon and Google are being probed by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) into the amount of fake reviews on their respective websites.

The CMA has claimed that both sites are not doing enough to detect and remove fake product reviews and will investigate to see if both companies have broken consumer law by not protecting their customers.

Amazon are also under the microscope to see whether its users have manipulated product listings by taking positive reviews from other product pages and using them as their own, according to the CMA.

The announcement comes after the CMA secured an agreement from Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram over the same issue of not doing enough to prevent and remove unauthentic reviews.

Facebook responded by agreeing to ban users who repeatedly create new profiles to post fake reviews.

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“Our worry is that millions of online shoppers could be misled by reading fake reviews and then spending their money based on those recommendations,” CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli said in a statement.

“Equally, it’s simply not fair if some businesses can fake 5-star reviews to give their products or services the most prominence, while law-abiding businesses lose out.”

The CMA said it hasn’t yet determined whether the two companies have broken the law as of yet.

In a statement, Amazon responded: “To help earn the trust of customers, we devote significant resources to preventing fake or incentivized reviews from appearing in our store.”

“We work hard to ensure that reviews accurately reflect the experience that customers have had with a product.

“We will continue to assist the CMA with its enquiries and we note its confirmation that no findings have been made against our business.”

Google has yet to release a statement on the matter.

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