PARIS, 15 Feb – RIA Novosti. Google has been fined € 1.1 million in France for mistakenly ranking hotels, according to a communiqué from the Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and Combating Fraud (DGCCRF) at the French Economy Ministry.
“An investigation launched by the Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and Anti-Fraud (DGCCRF), launched in 2019, exposed the misleading nature of Google's hotel ratings. Google Ireland Ltd and Google France have adjusted their practices and after consultation with the Paris Attorney agreed to pay a fine of 1.1 million euros, ”the document says.
It is noted that the investigation was carried out by the DGCCRF in 2019-2020 after complaints from hoteliers.
The ratings of more than 7.5 thousand hotels and hotels were automatically collected, the correspondence between the Google rating and the only official rating in France conducted by Atout France (classification by “stars” from 1 to 5) was investigated.
“The investigation showed that Google replaced the classification of Atout France with a classification based on its own criteria,” the press release said. However, this classification was misleading due to the identical use of the term “stars” and the hotel classification scale from 1 to 5.
“This practice harmed consumers who were misled about the level of service they could expect when booking accommodation. It also harmed hoteliers whose establishments were mistakenly categorized as being lower than that officially rated by Atout France. “, – according to the communique.
It is noted that since September 2019, Google Ireland Ltd and Google France have adjusted their practices. “The platform now uses the official Atout France classification,” the communiqué said.