A spokesperson for TripAdvisor said it would appeal the findings, saying it believed its processes were “extremely effective in protecting consumers from the small minority of people who try to cheat our system”.
“We firmly believe that TripAdvisor is a force for good — both for consumers and the hospitality industry,” the spokesperson said.
Measures deployed by the website to fight bogus reviews include a team to detect fraudsters as well as automated tools and algorithms.
The Federalberghi Italian hoteliers association, which was involved in the initial complaint against the website, alongside the country’s national consumer’s union, welcomed the decision.
“We are happy with the decision by the antitrust authority, which goes in the right direction to offer greater protection for consumers and businesses,” the group’s director-general Alessandro Nicara said.
The association says unscrupulous hotel owners sometimes leave false bad reviews of neighbouring competitors, which could skew holidaymakers’ decisions.
In 2012, the UK advertising regulator the Advertising Standards Authority ruled that TripAdvisor could not advertise all of its reviews as being genuine.
Last month, a couple were charged £100 by a hotel after they left a negative review of the establishment on TripAdvisor. The ‘fine’ was eventually refunded after a social media outcry.