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Spanish Watchdog Clears Amazon, Booking Holdings, and Tripadvisor of Fake Reviews Allegations

 |  November 22, 2023

Spain’s antitrust watchdog, the CNMC, has officially exonerated tech giants Amazon, Booking Holdings, and Tripadvisor from allegations of participating in or facilitating fake reviews on their platforms. The decision comes after an investigation was initiated based on a complaint filed by a local consumer association.

The CNMC, in a statement released on Wednesday, stated that there was “no indication that the platforms have participated in or facilitated the publication of these false opinions.”

The antitrust watchdog acknowledged that the companies under scrutiny had made investments in systems designed to identify and combat fake reviews. Additionally, they cooperated with ongoing investigations to ensure the integrity of user-generated content on their platforms, reported Reuters.

While absolving the companies of the primary accusations, the CNMC did identify potential signs of a breach of consumer protection regulations. As a result, the watchdog has forwarded the complaint to the relevant consumer rights authority for further review.

Read more: Amazon Challenges EU’s ‘Large Online Platform’ Law

The statement did not provide specific details regarding the potential violation but indicated that the original complaint raised concerns about sellers and intermediaries allegedly soliciting users to publish fraudulent reviews in exchange for monetary compensation or gifted products.

The original complaint, which triggered the investigation, suggested that such practices might violate consumer protection regulations. The CNMC’s decision to refer the matter to the consumer rights authority indicates an ongoing commitment to ensuring fair practices in the online marketplace.

Amazon, Booking Holdings, and Tripadvisor have all expressed satisfaction with the CNMC’s findings, emphasizing their dedication to maintaining the trust and confidence of their users. Each company reiterated its commitment to combating fake reviews and collaborating with regulatory bodies to address concerns related to their platforms.

Source: Reuters