Google fined 1.1 million euros for ranking hotels with stars

Google will have to pay a fine of 1.1 million euros. The American firm was pinned in France by the General Directorate for Competition, Consumption and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) for having established a misleading classification using stars, on its search engine.

Google had set up its own ranking system and had thus classified using an in-house algorithm some 7,500 hotels according to its own criteria. But this classification was deemed misleading by the DGCCRF, which investigated the subject after complaints from several hoteliers. Because the use of stars to classify hotels is regulated in France. This official classification is in fact issued by Atout France, which assigns 1 to 5 stars to hotel establishments.

The fraud repression investigation made it possible to ” reveal that Google had replaced the Atout France classification with a classification established by its own criteria “. The presentation and use of stars for this classification could therefore lead to confusion for consumers expecting services of a certain standard when reserving a room. This ranking was also damaging for some professionals who ended up with a ranking lower than the official ranking of Atout France.

The DGCCRF investigation was forwarded to the Paris prosecutor’s office, which found that the information provided by Google constituted a deceptive commercial practice. Google, which accepted the sentence and paid a fine of 1.1 million euros, has since changed its system.

Source : DGCCRF

Source: Flux toutes les actualités – 01net by

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