Britain to investigate if Amazon and Google are doing enough to block fake reviews

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TECHNOLOGY

UK to survey Amazon and Google for fake reviews

Britain’s competition regulator on Friday opened a formal investigation into whether Amazon and Google have done enough to prevent or remove bogus reviews.

Along with regulators in the United States and the European Union, the Competition and Markets Authority has stepped up its review of large tech companies in recent years.

The UK regulator has said it will gather more information to decide whether companies have violated consumer law by taking insufficient action to protect buyers. Google and Amazon both said they continue to help the CMA. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

AMC’s action last year regarding the fake reviews trade led to Facebook, Instagram and eBay removing groups and banning individuals from buying and selling fake reviews on their sites.

Google announced Thursday that it would delay blocking tracking cookies on its Chrome browser following the intervention of the CMA.

The CMA began its review investigation in May 2020, focusing on the internal systems and processes of multiple platforms to identify and address fake reviews.

The regulator also said it was also concerned that Amazon’s systems do not adequately prevent and deter some sellers from manipulating product listings, for example by co-opting positive reviews from others. products.

The CMA said it had failed to determine whether Alphabet’s Amazon and Google had broken the law.

However, if it concludes that they have violated consumer protection law, the regulator can take enforcement action ranging from obtaining formal commitments to change the way they handle fake reviews to legal action.

Amazon said it would continue to help AMC with its investigations. Google has also said it will continue to work with the regulator.

– Reuters

TOURISM

1st cruise in 15 months from the United States

Industry’s first cruise ship to take passengers to a U.S. port in 15 months is expected to depart on Saturday South Florida hub in a symbolic step towards normalcy that will be watched closely by health experts as vaccines curb the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

Industry officials hope the Celebrity Edge’s voyage serves as a bookend for people first struck by pandemic severity in last year’s alarming reports of deadly epidemics on ships crowded, guests quarantined for weeks, ships begging to dock and sick passengers carried on stretchers in ports.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of this,” said Russ Schwartz, a Florida school principal who is honeymooning on the ship and is confident the navigation will be smooth. “Things have changed dramatically. At the time, we really didn’t know much about the virus. The cruises at that time were not prepared.

Celebrity Cruises, one of the brands of Royal Caribbean Cruises, claims that at least 95% of those boarding the Celebrity Edge have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, in accordance with the health requirements of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the ship will operate at reduced capacity.

The stakes are high for cruise lines emerging from a
Stop imposed by the CDC which lasted 15 months. During that time, the industry’s three giants – Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean International – had to raise over $ 40 billion in funding just to stay afloat without any income.

Collectively, companies lost $ 20 billion last year and an additional $ 4.5 billion in the first quarter of 2021, according to Securities and Exchange Commission documents.

– Associated press

Also in business

Southwest Airlines will increase his minimum wage to
$ 15 an hour and raise the wages of thousands of airport workers to ensure it retains enough staff and can attract new employees to support growth over the next two to four years. Moving
will affect more than 7,000 employees and go into effect Aug. 1, the airline told employees on Friday. Southwest declined to provide the full cost of the increases, which will benefit baggage handlers and cargo handlers, workers who clean planes or deliver parts, reservation agents, customer service employees and others.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s unit will pay nearly $ 11.7 million to resolve allegations it overcharged clients who invested in mutual funds, a U.S. regulator said on Friday. The payment includes a fine of $ 3.25 million and $ 8.44 million in restitution, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Merrill neither admitted nor denied the wrongdoing in agreeing to settle. A mutual fund, or ITU, allows people to invest in a single public offering in a portfolio of securities, usually stocks and bonds.

A global watchdog of dirty money said on Friday it had added EU member Malta to its “gray list” of countries under increased surveillance and kept Pakistan on the list despite its progress in the fight against terrorist financing. The Financial Action Task Force also said that Haiti, the Philippines and South Sudan were added to its list and Ghana was removed after the country moved forward. The Maltese government had previously signaled its inclusion on the list, indicating loopholes but having no legal repercussions, in a move Prime Minister Robert Abela called “unfair”.

– Information services



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