A fake review round by Amazon run by Germany has been closed following a legal challenge in a British court, The Telegraph reports.
The Supreme Court has issued orders against three companies seeking to increase Amazon sellers’ star ratings using a purported network of thousands of authentic reviewers.
The court victory for the online retail giant comes at a time when businesses are under growing pressure over how to handle fake reviews. The Competition and Markets Authority is investigating both Amazon and Google out of concern that they are not doing enough to protect shoppers.
Three companies based in Malta and Mallorca that have traded under the names AMZTigers and Testerjob promise to boost sellers’ items in search results by providing them with five-star reviews.
A ban on rating brokers in the UK and saying “any person [breaking the order] subject to imprisonment, fines or confiscation of property”. This is believed to be the first time a UK court has issued such an order.
AMZTigers, which has asked 20,000 UK reviewers and 62,000 globally, will give the product five-star reviews in line with its marketing plans.
Reviewers will buy specified products on Amazon and then rate them, making them appear authentic but get a refund, effectively getting free items in exchange for reviews. .
Company records show activities linked to Norbert Weber, a Berlin-based internet marketing entrepreneur who also runs W3 Internet Marketing, a search engine optimization business.
Weber did not respond to the newspaper’s request for comment.
But Amazon UK director John Boumphrey told The Telegraph: “We dedicate considerable resources to preventing fake reviews and encouraging them to appear on Amazon. It is absolutely important in winning the trust of customers. This lawsuit makes clear that fraud will not be tolerated in our store and we will not hesitate to pursue fake review brokers through the UK courts.”
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