Launched Britain’s competition regulator is investigating Amazon and Google over concerns they were not doing enough to tackle fake reviews.
“We are investigating concerns that Amazon and Google have not done enough to prevent or remove fake reviews to protect customers and businesses,” Andrea Coseli, CEO of the Competition Authority, said in a statement.
“It is important that these tech platforms take responsibility and we are ready to take action if we find they are not doing enough,” he added.
Misleading consumer reviews have proven to be a huge problem in e-commerce, and Amazon is a prime target for brands looking to promote their products online through fake review processes.
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The company last month called on social media companies to help it weed out fake reviews.
The Competition and Markets Authority launched a preliminary investigation into the case of fake reviews in May 2020.
Earlier that year, Facebook and eBay removed several groups and accounts that were involved in trading fake reviews.
In April of this year, the authority said that Facebook had removed thousands of groups that dealt in misleading reviews and made further changes to its systems to identify, remove and prevent such content from appearing on its platforms.
The agency focused on Amazon and Google, saying it was looking into whether they had done enough to detect and remove fake reviews.
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Problems Amazon with Fake Reviews:
The investigation also examines whether companies penalize auditors or companies to deter them from posting misleading reviews.
The agency added that it was concerned that Amazon’s systems failed to prevent sellers from manipulating product listings, giving an example of merchants choosing positive reviews from other products.
The authority has not yet decided whether Amazon and Google have violated the law at this point. But it said it was taking action, including taking the companies to court if necessary. In the event of a violation of the Consumer Protection Law,
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“We dedicate significant resources to preventing fake reviews,” Amazon said. We work to ensure that reviews accurately reflect customers’ experience with a product. We continue to assist the authority with its inquiries and note its assertion that no results have been reached against our actions.
Google said: Our policies clearly state that reviews should be based on real experiences. When we find policy violations, we take actions such as removing offensive content and disabling user accounts. We look forward to continuing our work with the authority to share more about how the technology and our review teams work.