TripAdvisor has successfully challenged a ruling by Italy’s competition watchdog for allegedly publishing misleading information in its reviews.
The travel review website disputed the decision last December, saying it would appeal to the regional court in Italy (TAR).
A fine of €500,000 has now been overturned.
TripAdvisor had been accused of presenting its reviews as “authentic and genuine” despite not taking measures to avoid contributors publishing false opinions.
The Italian Competition Authority (ICA) began a seven-month investigation following a complaint from a consumer group and hotel owners.
Following the outcome of the appeal, a company spokesman said: “We are extremely satisfied that TAR has overturned the ICA ruling and confirmed what we always knew – that TripAdvisor is a hugely valuable and reliable resource, that there is no misleading message regarding the source of TripAdvisor’s reviews, and the processes TripAdvisor uses to maintain the integrity of our content are extremely effective.
“We appealed the ICA’s original ruling as we believed that it was unreasonable and we strongly disagreed with its findings.
“The TAR has confirmed that the ICA’s ruling was completely unwarranted and by extension has acknowledged the industry-leading tools TripAdvisor has to protect our site from fraud.
Millions of people use TripAdvisor every day to help them make better travel and booking decisions and get the best possible value for their hard-earned money.
“We see this as a victory for consumers as well as an endorsement of TripAdvisor’s commitment to help democratise the travel industry.”