The German competition authority has issued its preliminary findings on its investigation into online user reviews.
Fake reviews are a prominent theme, showing that the issue is gaining more and more attention of regulators across Europe. In May 2020 the CMA published the results from its enforcement of fake reviews in the UK - see here.
The Bundeskartellamt suggests that websites could be found liable for fake reviews. It's not clear how that could apply to platforms and intermediaries, or how such a finding would be consistent with the hosting defence (under article 14 ECD) or operational based on the prohibition on monitoring/investigating information on the platform (under article 15 ECD). Hopefully the solutions proposed will tread the line effectively and will be operational in practice.
“Websites and platforms have to take on a lot more responsibility for the reviews they publish,” said Andreas Mundt, president of the Bundeskartellamt.