Amazon and Google are under investigation over concerns fake five star reviews on their websites could be misleading shoppers.
The Competition and Markets Authority is also worried that “law-abiding businesses” who sell over Amazon and Google may be losing out to firms using false recommendations.
Amazon and Google could face court action for breaking consumer law.
Both firms say they have resources and policies in place to stop fake reviews.
The CMA has launched the formal probe after an initial investigation last year examined whether online companies were doing enough to protect consumers.
Online shopping has soared during the Covid pandemic as retailers deemed as “non-essential” have been forced to close physical shops during periods of lockdown.
“Our worry is that millions of online shoppers could be misled by reading fake reviews and then spending their money based on those recommendations,” said CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli.
“Equally, it’s simply not fair if some businesses can fake five-star reviews to give their products or services the most prominence, while law-abiding businesses lose out.
“It’s important that these tech platforms take responsibility and we stand ready to take action if we find that they are not doing enough.”
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