France fines Google €1.1 million over hotel rankings practices



Google Ireland and Google France have agreed to pay a €1.1 million ($1.34 million) fine after a probe found that the company’s hotel rankings could be misleading for consumers.

According to a statement issued on Monday by France’s finance ministry and fraud watchdog, Google has amended its hotel rankings practices since September 2019.

The American search engine 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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