Google fined $1.3 million for displaying ‘misleading’ rankings for French hotels

google-fined-$1.3-million-for-displaying-‘misleading’-rankings-for-french-hotels

Google has agreed to pay a fine of 1.1 million euros ($1.3 million) after French authorities concluded the search engine displayed “misleading” rankings for French hotels. Previously, Google used the official source Atout France as well as input from other hotel-industry websites in its algorithm to rank hotels from one to five stars. After receiving complaints from hoteliers about Google’s rankings, the French government’s fraud and competition agency –the General Directorate for Competition, Consumption and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) – launched an investigation in 2019 and 2020.

Representational image. Image: Reuters

The agency said it was to monitor “the nature and fairness of the information provided by the platform” across 7,500 establishments.

The DGCCRF’s “investigation revealed that Google had replaced the Atout France ranking with a classification established according to its own criteria.” The agency said that this practice was “particularly damaging” for customers who thought they were getting certain benefits when booking with a hotel, and for hotels that were being ranked lower by Google than by Atout France.

Google said that it has now made the “necessary changes to only reflect the official French star rating for hotels on Google Maps and Search.”

With inputs from The Associate Press.

Times2 Desk
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