The government has moved to make the business of providing, hosting and publishing fake reviews illegal. New proposals would empower the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to fine online retailers up to ten per cent of their online revenues for featuring false reviews. It has been estimated that ‘suspicious’ reviews influence some £23bn of purchases in the UK every year.
Both Amazon and Google are currently being investigated by the CMA over the instance of fake reviews on their platforms and are being told that they need to do more to tackle the problem. The government hopes that by making the practice illegal and with the CMA empowered to prosecute rogue businesses, swifter progress can be made.