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Google France, Ireland to pay $1.34 million over ‘misleading’ hotel rankings: Govt

According to an investigation, Google’s hotel rankings could be misleading for consumers, said France Finance Ministry and fraud watchdog on Monday.

Google Ireland and Google France have agreed to pay a fine of 1.1 million euros ($1.34 million) after the authorities concluded the search engine displayed misleading rankings for French hotels, it added.

‘Made necessary changes’

The American multinational technology company has amended its practices of hotel rankings since September 2019. Earlier, Google used the official source ‘Atout France’ and input from other hotel-industry websites in its algorithm to rank hotels from one to five stars.

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

Google has now made “necessary changes” to only reflect the official French star rating for hotels on Google Maps and Search, according to sources.

(With inputs from agencies)

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