Amazon files lawsuits in Italy and Spain against fake reviews

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Amazon has filed lawsuits in Italy and Spain in order to stop fake reviews on its platform. It marks the first criminal complaint of the ecommerce giant in Europe. Amazon also sent warnings to five websites in Germany concerning the issue.

The lawsuits are part of an ongoing legal battle against fake review brokers, mostly in the United States. Currently, the European Commission and the market watchdog in the United Kingdom are investigating if Amazon is doing enough to combat such fake reviews.

Italian and Spanish broker sued

In Italy, Amazon says it has sued a high-profile broker which remains unnamed. In Spain, the ecommerce company has targeted AgenciaReviews. The operator is accused of setting up fake reviews via private messaging app Telegram and financially rewarding people after the fact.

In a reaction, AgenciaReviews has said it is only a tester programme where buyers are not compelled to leave five-star reviews.

5 German websites warned

In addition to lawsuits against the Italian and Spanish broker, Amazon said it has sent warnings to five websites in Germany. The websites allegedly directed visitors to a fake review broker. Since sending the warning, all have stopped and signed a cease and desist letter.

Amazon sued over 10,000 Facebook group administrators.

Amazon has been fighting the issue in the United States as well. This past summer, the platform sued over 10,000 Facebook group administrators in the country. They are also accused of recruiting fake reviews in exchange for money or free products.

Ongoing inquiry by European Commission

Fake reviews are an issue for Amazon, but also ecommerce at large. The European Commission and the UK Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) are currently investigating if Amazon is doing enough to combat fake reviews on its website.

“We continue to improve our proactive controls.”

Vice President of Selling Partner Services Dharmesh Mehta of Amazon said in a statement: “We continue to improve our proactive controls, invent new technologies and machine learning to detect bad actors, and find new ways to hold them accountable.”

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