Who: The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)
Where: United Kingdom
When: 21 June 2019
Law stated as at: 26 June 2019
The CMA recently announced that it has found evidence that “there is a thriving marketplace for fake and misleading online reviews“. As part of its investigation, the CMA identified over one hundred marketplace listings and many social media groups offering fake reviews or recruiting people to write fake reviews for popular shopping and review websites.
The CMA estimates that over 75% of UK internet users consider online reviews when deciding what to buy. Therefore, fake and misleading reviews were leading consumers to make poor choices and buy the wrong products. The CMA news announcement flags that fake reviews are also contrary to consumer laws.
The CMA has urged platforms to conduct a review of activity promoting the fake review industry.
Why this matters:
The CMA investigation is a timely reminder of the risks surrounding fake reviews and the value of such reviews. It times nicely with the recent draft of the New Deal For Consumers by the EU, which will require platforms to use reasonable endeavours to check that reviews are genuine and that reviews should not be used for endorsements if this is not the purpose of such review. More information here.