Google France, Ireland to pay $1.34 million over ‘misleading’ hotel rankings: Govt

Consumers may be misled by Google’s hotel rankings, according to an investigation released on Monday by France’s Finance Ministry and fraud watchdog.

After the authorities concluded that the search engine displayed “misleading” rankings for French hotels, Google Ireland and Google France have agreed to pay a fine of 1.1 million euros ($1.34 million).

‘Made necessary alterations,’

Since September of this year, the technology giant has altered its hotel ranking methods. To rank hotels from one to five stars, Google previously used the official source “Atout France” and input from other hotel-industry websites, such as TripAdvisor and Expedia.

However, after receiving complaints from hoteliers about Google’s rankings, the French government’s fraud and competition agency began an investigation in 2019 and 2020. “The nature and fairness of the information provided by the platform” was the purpose of the investigation, according to the company’s statement.

“Necessary changes” have been made to Google Maps and Search to only show hotels with the official French star rating, according to sources.

(With the help of outside agencies)

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