Google fine for how you rate hotels


Google "won" a fine of 1,1 million euros for the way it displayed hotel ratings in France on the search engine results pages and Google Maps.

More specifically, Google uses its own hotel rating system in France, providing information directly on the search results page and on Google Maps whenever users search for accommodation in a specific area.

However, the French authorities use a standard rating system throughout the country which should be used by everyone to provide customers with accurate information about the services they will receive from a hotel.

So technically, by not using the local and mandatory rating system, Google circumvented the law, having ratings with its own algorithm that apparently referred to different hotels than those suggested by the French agencies.

The country's consumer and competition agency, DGCCRF, launched an investigation into the matter in 2019, trying to determine if Google was breaking the law with this approach.

When the DGCCRF's claim has been substantiated, imposed (PDF) € 1,1 million fine for using informal ratings for more than 7.500 hotels across France.

Meanwhile, the Mountain View company has already improved its rating system, abandoning its proprietary algorithm. It already uses the calibration system used by the whole country.

Of course, this does not mean that the company will not pay the fine.


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