Tech company Google has to pay a fine of 1.1 million euros in France. According to investigations by the French Ministry of Finance and the country’s fraud watchdog, the company is said to have misled consumers with its hotel rankings in the past.
In place of the official ranking, Google posted custom rankings based on its own criteria. Google was then hit on the finger. The Irish and French branches of Google have accepted the fine.
The case started after complaints from hotels. The study compared the ratings of 7,500 hotels on Google with the official rankings issued by the French tourism agency Atout France. It turned out that Google also awarded one to five stars to accommodations in its own way, but they did not match the official figures.
Fraud watchdog DGCCRF said this practice was “particularly harmful” to consumers, as well as hoteliers who were wrongly downgraded according to Google rankings.
Since September 2019, Google has also been using the official Atout France ranking.