France slaps $1.34m fine on Google over ‘misleading’ hotel rankings

Google was fined again in Europe after authorities in France finalized a probe into its hotel rankings in the country, which were considered “misleading” for consumers and harmful for hotels and tourist accommodations. The fine totals 1.34 million dollars.

The inquiry was initiated in 2019 by France’s Directorate-General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control following complaints from hoteliers accusing the tech company of posting misleading classifications of tourist accommodations in its search engine.

The government analyzed the rankings of more than 7,500 establishments and concluded that Google had replaced the the star system with its own classification, based on its criteria. However, the presentation and identical use of the term “stars” created confusion among users.

The French Ministry of Finance and the watchdog said Google has “corrected their practices” and is now using the official rankings.

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