Amazon And Google Are Currently Being Investigated By UK's Competition Authority Over Poor Review Moderation System

Amazon and Google will be subject to a formal inquiry regarding their insufficient regulation and screening of fake reviews on their platforms.

This wouldn't be Google’s first rodeo with an entire country and its legislation. In fact, the tech company has very recently caught figurative fire with the Australian government. Google was accused of not paying local journalists for articles the latter authored, but were published by the former under Chrome's news suggestions. While that story hasn't reached a proper conclusion yet, as Google's stance was that it gave journalists unmatched exposure in exchange for their articles, it is interesting to note just how massive the company has become. Google and its parent company Alphabet have garnered such social influence, that interrupting them sometimes becomes a matter of national politics. Such an attitude towards the tech market and its importance nowadays can also be seen reflected in the USA congressional hearings conducted against Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

The Competition and Markets Authority, a governing body in the United Kingdom, is leading the examinations of Google and Amazon. Their aim is to gather evidence surrounding the claims that Google and Amazon do not adequately moderate their reviewers, thus leading to false advertising that affects customers. Furthermore, the CMA will also be inspecting community guidelines in order to determine whether or not businesses are given adequate deterrents to prevent them from posting fake reviews. Specifically for Amazon, the CMA expresses concern that reviewers and sellers can manipulate product listings on the website with relative ease.

Amazon was quick to respond to the whole situation, with representatives claiming that the company would happily acquiesce with any and all inspections the CMA is willing to commit. Google has yet to comment on the situation. It is, however, wise of the companies to simply agree to the country's set standards. Not only would customer suspicion arise if compliance isn't shown, a major online market would be shut off.

While detractors have questioned why the CMA hasn't targeted any other online review sites in the process, the answer is easy enough. Amazon and Google are quite literally the biggest fish in the market. They collectively hold a monopoly over online consumerism, therefore it is imperative that all CMA-led online moderation start with these two.

photo: DAMIEN MEYER | AFP | Getty Images

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