Companies: Misrepresentation:Written question - 75286

Asked by Chi Onwurah
(Newcastle upon Tyne Central)
Asked on: 16 July 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Companies: Misrepresentation
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect on consumer trust in the digital economy of companies manipulating Trustpilot's online review system; and which organisation is responsible for regulating those practices.
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 22 July 2020

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is responsible for enforcing consumer protection law online.

In May 2020 the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) opened an investigation into several major websites that display online reviews. The CMA will investigate whether these websites are taking sufficient measures to protect consumers from fake and misleading reviews.

The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) prohibit businesses from engaging in misleading and deceptive commercial practices against consumers to the extent that they are likely to distort the economic behaviour of the ‎average consumer. This includes businesses using dubious tactics to boost their Trustpilot review scores. A breach of the CPRs carry criminal penalties such as unlimited fine or up to 2 years in prison and are enforced by local authority Trading Standards officers.

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