Data Sharing for Digital Market

End of the Five Star Burnt Lasagne?

By Paul Jinks and Carlton Daniel 

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published yesterday proposals to protect consumers from fake online reviews and to give full legal status to the CMA’s guidance published earlier this year regarding goods and services supplied via a subscription model.

Under the proposals a new law would be implemented to make it “clearly illegal” to pay for the writing or hosting of fake online reviews with new powers for the CMA to fine businesses up-to 10% of global turnover (or £300,000 in the case of individual traders) for breaches. It would also become an offence to offer to write or commission fake reviews.

Perhaps of most interest is that websites hosting reviews will be expected to take “reasonable steps” to check that those reviews are genuine with business minister Paul Scully hailing the proposals as meaning an end to “visiting a five star reviewed restaurant only to find burnt lasagne”.

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