Google was recently fined $1 million by the French government over the hotel rankings shown in Google Maps used the company’s own criteria rather than based on official data from France’s tourism department.
Back in 2019, French consumer and competition regulator DGCCRF received a series of complaints from consumers because the company used its own ranking system to rate hotels. In France, the law requires hotel ratings to be set by local tourism organizations according to some standards.
Google fined $1 million in France for ranking hotels
The ratings in Google Maps use a scale of 1-5 stars, similar to the internationally accepted star ratings for hotels, but the ratings are derived solely from proprietary algorithms that rely on data such as customer reviews.
This results in a discrepancy in that when users search using Google Maps, they do not see the actual hotel star ratings, but they only see the company’s own rating system. These ratings are currently applied to about 7,500 hotels worldwide.
The French agency launched an investigation after Google changed its star rating criteria, but it still didn’t avoid being fined, while $1 million is a drop in the bucket for the Internet giant, The famous company was previously fined millions of dollars by Europe in 2018 for using Android to promote its own apps.