UK regulators are investigating Amazon and Google for possibly breaking consumer protection laws for not handling fake product reviews properly.
This is just one probe in a line of investigations piling up against both the tech giants. Around the world officials have been examining claims of anti-competitive behavior. These investigations could lead to large fines and more pressure on companies like Facebook and Apple to change how they do business.
The UK Competition and Markets Authority stated that its inquiry could force Amazon and Google to change they way they deal with fake reviews or result in court action.
The CMA is worried that millions of online shoppers are being misled by fake product reviews and spending money based on those recommendations. They stated it isn’t fair business practice that some companies can fake five star reviews while lawful citizens lose out.
An investigation by UK consumer group Which? found a large industry of businesses making money by manipulating reviews on Amazon Marketplace. One company was selling single reviews for $18 or bulk packages that cost over $800 for 50 reviews.
Google and Amazon stated the would cooperate with the CMA.