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Formal Fake Review Inquiry Started Against Amazon And Google In Britain

Formal Fake Review Inquiry Started Against Amazon And Google In Britain
A formal prove that would look into whether Amazon and Google had done enough within their capacity to prevent or remove fake reviews has been started by Britain's competition regulator.
In recent years, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) of Britain has increased its scrutiny of big tech firms, just as has been done by regulators in the United Sates and the European Union.
In order to decide if Google and Amazon may have broken consumer law by not taking enough action to protect shoppers, more information will be gathered by it, the British regulator said.
Both Google and Amazon said they were continuing to assist the CMA.
Facebook, Instagram and eBay were forced to remove groups and ban individuals from purchasing and selling fake reviews on their sites following action taken last year by the CMA over the trading of fake reviews resulted in these online platforms.
After the intervention by the CMA, blocking of tracking cookies on its Chrome browser would be delayed by it, Google said on Thursday.
With the focus on looking at the internal systems and processes of a number of platforms for identifying and dealing with fake reviews, the CMA had initiated its investigation into reviews in May 2020.
There were also concerns within the regulator about the failure of Amazon’s system designed to adequately prevent and deter some sellers in engaging in manipulating product listings, for example through co-opting positive reviews from other products, the regulator said.
"Our worry is that millions of online shoppers could be misled by reading fake reviews and then spending their money based on those recommendations," the CMA's 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."
No views had been reached yet by it about the same law being broken by Amazon and Alphabet's Google, the CMA said.
The CMA however said that it can take enforcement action against the tech companies if it found that they have broken consumer protection law. Such action could range from securing formal commitments to change the way they deal with fake reviews to taking the companies to court for greater penalties.
It would continue to assist the CMA with its enquiries, Amazon said. "We are relentless in protecting our store and will take action to stop fake reviews regardless of the size or location of those who attempt this abuse," said a spokesperson of the largest e-commerce company of the world.
Google also said it would continue to work with the regulator. "Our strict policies clearly state reviews must be based on real experiences, and when we find policy violations, we take action — from removing abusive content to disabling user accounts," a spokesperson for the company said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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