Google fined $1 million for misleading French hotel rankings

Google has agreed to pay a fine 1.1 million euros ($1.3 million) after French authorities concluded the search engine was featuring "misleading" rankings for French hotels.  PHOTO CREDIT: Michel Euler

PARIS — Google has agreed to pay a fine of 1.1 million euros ($1.3 million) after French authorities concluded the search engine displayed “misleading” rankings for French hotels.

Previously, Google used the official source Atout France as well as input from other hotel-industry websites in its algorithm to rank hotels from one to five stars.

After receiving complaints from hoteliers about Google’s rankings, the French government’s fraud and competition agency launched an investigation in 2019 and 2020. It said it was to monitor “the nature and fairness of the information provided by the platform” across 7,500 establishments.

Google said that it has now made the “necessary changes to only reflect the official French star rating for hotels on Google Maps and Search.”