A UK regulator is testing whether Amazon and Google are doing what’s needed to crack down on fake reviews — and said it will prosecute the tech giants on the off chance that it discovers they’ve been abusing consumer protection laws.
The Competition and Markets Authority said Friday it’s anything but a proper test into Amazon and Google after an underlying investigation “raised specific concerns” about the omnipresence of fake reviews.
What’s more, the regulator said it is worried about whether Amazon and Google do what’s necessary to explore fake reviews and whether they hit culprits with unforgiving enough punishments to deflect them from defying the guidelines later on.
The move comes after a February report showed the huge size of Amazon “review manipulation” services that guarantee to promote items to the highest point of indexed lists and even assistance secure pined for “Amazon’s Choice” names.
A few businesses can pay a large number of dollars for bundles of fake reviews, while others offer modest or free items in return for reviews, as per the investigation by UK consumer advocacy group “Which?”
Fake reviews can both hurt consumers by driving them toward inferior quality items and hurt businesses that maintain the guidelines by surrendering a leg to shady competitors, the UK’s opposition regulator said.
“Our concern is that great many online shoppers could be deceived by perusing fake reviews and afterward going through their cash dependent on those recommendations,” said Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the Competition and Markets Authority. “Similarly, it’s essentially not reasonable if a few businesses can fake 5-star reviews to give their items or services the most noticeable quality, while well behaved businesses miss out.”
In an articulation to The media, an Amazon representative said the company is “persevering in ensuring our store.”
“We dedicate critical assets to forestalling fake or boosted reviews from showing up in our store,” the representative said. “We will keep on helping the CMA with its enquiries and we note its affirmation that no discoveries have been made against our business.”
Last year, Amazon brought down in excess of 200 million fake reviews before they were at any point seen by a client, as per the company.
In the event that the opposition regulator trusts Amazon and Google overstepped consumer protection laws, it will prosecute the companies. The regulator didn’t give a timetable to the investigation.