On Friday, the British competition regulator launched a formal investigation into Amazon and Alphabet’s Google, worrying that the two technology giants are not doing enough to combat false comments on their websites.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it will now collect more information to determine whether these companies have taken insufficient action to protect shoppers from false reviews, thereby violating consumer laws.

This move was made after the initial investigation of the CMA that began in May 2020, which evaluated the internal systems and processes of multiple platforms to identify and deal with false comments.

The regulator said it was also concerned that Amazon’s system failed to adequately prevent and prevent some sellers from manipulating product listings, such as by selecting positive reviews of other products.

CMA CEO Andrea Coscelli said: “We are concerned that millions of online shoppers may be misled by reading fake reviews and then spend money based on these suggestions.”

“Similarly, if some companies falsify 5-star reviews in order to highlight their products or services, and the law-abiding company loses, that would be unfair.”

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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