E-commerce giant Amazon has filed two legal complaints in Spain and Italy as part of its efforts to combat global fake review brokers.

The legal actions mark the retailer’s first criminal complaint in Italy and its first lawsuit in Spain.

In Italy, Amazon filed a lawsuit against a ‘high-profile broker’ that allegedly has a network of individuals who buy products and post five-star reviews in exchange for a refund.

The online retailer is also targeting Agencia Reviews in Spain for allegedly refunding customers after they publish a fake five-star review.

Agencia Reviews allegedly targets its sellers and customers while communicating through instant messaging service Telegram to evade detection.

In addition to Spain and Italy, Amazon has issued warning letters to five Germany-based websites that had been guiding visitors to a fake review broker.

Amazon selling partners services vice-president Dharmesh Mehta said: “Holding bad actors accountable through litigation and criminal referrals is one of many important ways that we protect customers so they can shop with confidence.

“In addition to continuing to advance our robust detection and prevention of fake reviews in our store, Amazon will remain relentless in identifying and enforcing against bad actors that attempt to engage in review abuse.

“There is no place for fake reviews on Amazon or anywhere else in the industry.”

The two legal proceedings in Europe come after Amazon recently launched ten lawsuits in the US.

The retailer is targeting more than 11,000 websites and social media groups that try to manipulate reviews on Amazon and other stores in return for money or free products.

Mehta added: “Amazon will continue to devote significant resources to fighting fake reviews and ensuring customers have a trustworthy shopping experience.

“We continue to improve our proactive controls, invent new technologies and machine learning to detect bad actors, and find new ways to hold them accountable.”