Google fined $1.33 million over misleading hotel rankings

Google is accused of having created its own rating system for hotels, which uses stars and features its own algorithm

Google fined $1.33 million over misleading hotel rankings
  • Google Ireland and Google France agree to pay €1.1 million
  • Google has amended its hotel rankings practices since September 2019
  • US search engine is accused of having created its own rating system for hotels

According to a statement issued today by France’s finance ministry and fraud watchdog, Google France and Google Ireland have agreed to pay a €1.1 million ($1.33 million) penalty after the regulator’s investigation discovered that Google’s hotel rankings could be misleading for customers.

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The regulators said that the American search engine has amended its hotel rankings practices since September 2019.

The US company is accused of having created its own rating system for hotels, which uses stars and features its own algorithm. French regulation specifies that such ratings systems may only be established by the government and that only the state is authorized to use them.

In December, Google was fined for breaching France’s rules on online cookies, with the CNIL (National Commission for Informatics and Liberties) watchdog handing down a €100 million ($121 million) penalty. The watchdog said the fine against Google was the biggest ever issued by the CNIL, while the previous record penalty of €50 million ($60.6 million) for breaching European Union data privacy rules was also imposed on the same company.

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