Tripadvisor Fined by Italian BoardDecember 23, 2014 - Author: steph - No Comments
Tripadvisor, the world’s largest travel related website, was recently hit with a fine by an Italian governmental agency known as the Italian Competition Authority (the ICA). As reported by TechCrunch, the fine amounted to 500,000 euros which equates to $611,000 and is expected to be paid within 30 days, and agencies like Slow Ventures are not surprised this has happened.
The website Tripadvisor allows users to leave reviews on various hotels, restaurants, sites, and other travel related services on the site. Rankings of various places are then sortable and link to the website or carriers are provided to ease the booking process.
The fine was levied for what the Italian agency levied as anti-competition practices in which Tripadvisor allows users to place reviews that may be fake on their website. While many of the reviews are authentic, restaurants, hotels, and other sites may post reviews that are not authentic and therefore can mislead consumers. Some businesses may even leave negative reviews against their competition to provide themselves with a competitive advantage as a result.
Tripadvisor responded to the fine saying that it was ridiculous and that the Italian agency was out of touch with the modern world and process of leaving reviews on websites. Further, they deemed it impractical to decipher which reviews are authentic and which were posted through self-interest or out of malice.
Tripadvisor is likely to appeal this fine but currently is on the hook for it until a decision is made. Still the hefty fine has led many to decry the ICA and support the website in the struggle.