France has fined Google €1.1 million for allegedly "misleading" consumers with their rankings of hotels and other tourist accommodations, Euronews reported.
France fines Google €1.1 million for 'misleading' consumers with its hotel rankings
STEPANAKERT, FEBRUARY 16, ARTSAKHPRESS: A 2019 investigation by the French consumer watchdog and finance ministry found the tech giant was guilty of "misleading commercial practice".
Google Ireland and Google France have agreed to pay the fine as part of a settlement, after approval from the Paris public prosecutor, the ministry said.
Both organisations have since altered their practices, it added in a statement.
France's Directorate-General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) had launched a probe into Google in September 2019 after complaints from hotels.
Businesses had argued that the display of around 7,500 hotels on Google's search engine was unfair, compared to the official classification issued by Atout France, the country's Tourism Development Agency.
"This practice was particularly damaging for consumers, who were misled about the level of service they could expect when booking accommodation," the authority stated.
"It was also detrimental to hoteliers whose establishments were wrongly presented as being lower than in the official Atout France classification."