Google Fined $1.3 Million in France Over Hotel Ranking Practices
February 16, 2021
Google has been fined more than $1.3 million over misleading ratings for
hotels in France, that country’s Finance Ministry said Monday. The
decision followed a months-long investigation that began in 2019.
"The investigation revealed that Google had replaced the Atout France
ranking with a classification established according to its own
criteria," said the General Directorate for Competition, Consumption and
Fraud Control (DGCCRF). Atout France is the country’s official hotel
The probe followed complaints from hoteliers and assessed the rankings
of more than 7,500 hotels with stars on Google’s search results.
DGCCRF said the practice was "particularly damaging" for customers who
thought they were getting certain benefits when booking with the hotel
and for hoteliers whose establishments were being ranked lower by Google
than by Atout France.
Officials also said the search engine has amended its hotel ranking
practices since September of 2019, correcting their search result and
using Atout France’s rankings.
“We have now settled with the DGCCRF and made the necessary changes to
reflect the official French star rating for hotels on Google Maps and
Search,” a Google spokesperson said.
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