Online review behemoth TripAdvisor has been fined €500,000 by authorities in Italy after having been found to have published misleading reviews on its website.
The site, which claims to be the largest travel domain the world, denies the accusations.
TripAdvisor was accused of presenting reviews as “authentic and genuine” despite apparently not taking measures to avoid contributors publishing false information.
TripAdvisor said it would appeal against the decision.
In a statement the company said: “Our systems and procedures are extremely efficient in protecting consumers from a small minority of people who try to con our system.
“We firmly believe that TripAdvisor is a force for good, both for consumers and the hospitality industry.”
A seven-month investigation was launched following a complaint from a consumer group and hotel owners in Italy.