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Italy Fines TripAdvisor for Fake Reviews

TripAdvisorThe Italian Competition Authority (Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato) has slapped Tripadvisor with a  500,000-euro fine for failing to adopt controls to prevent false reviews.

Tripadvisor publishes reviews of hotels and restaurants, as well as other travel information.

Following complaints from a national hoteliers’ association and a consumer protection agency, Italy’s competition watchdog reviewed the case and ruled that the company was not honest with Internet users.

According to the AGCM, its investigation discovered a “practice of spreading misleading information about the sources of the reviews”.

TripAdvisor said in a statement that it would appeal the findings and insists that reviews are “authentic and genuine”.

The company is obliged to pay the 500,000-euro fine in 30 days and has 90 days to present a remedy.

“We firmly believe that TripAdvisor is a force for good — both for consumers and the hospitality industry,” the company said.

TripAdvisor has more than 200 million reviews and opinions covering more than 4.4 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions.

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