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World 1.1 million euros: Google has to pay a fine for misleading hotel reviews

12:45  16 february  2021
12:45  16 february  2021 Source:   t3n.de

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Google has agreed in a settlement in France to pay a 1.1 million euros fine. The company was accused of posting misleading reviews for French hotels.

Das Google-Hauptquartier in Mountain View. © achinthamb / Shutterstock.com The Google headquarters in Mountain View.

Google has to pay a fine of 1.1 million euros in France. This was preceded by criminal proceedings against the company, which have now been ended with a settlement.

Google's hotel reviews were misleading

The French consumer protection agency DGCCRF had previously criticized the fact that Google had rated hotels according to its own algorithm-based system. However, because these ratings also used a scale from one to five stars, consumers could get the impression that it was the official rating system of the French classifier Atout. As a result, some hotels, for example, received fewer stars from Google than from Atout. The DGCCRF saw this as misleading business practices on the part of Google.

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Video: Dispute over hotel stars: Google pays 1.1 million fine (Euronews)

The consumer advocates initiated proceedings against Google in 2019. Meanwhile, it emerged that Google's ratings were not based solely on Atout as the official source. In addition, algorithms were used which, for example, included the hotels' websites in the ranking.

Settlement ends criminal proceedings

In the course of the settlement, which ended the criminal proceedings without a guilty verdict, Google now has to pay a fine of 1.1 million euros. In addition, the search engine giant has committed itself to only display the atout ranking in search and in Google Maps in the future.

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Les sociétés Google Ireland Ltd et Google France ont corrigé leurs pratiques et, après accord du procureur de la République de Paris, ont accepté de payer une amende de 1.1 million d'euros dans le cadre d'une transaction pénale .

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- DGCCRF (@dgccrf) February 15, 2021

The DGCCRF is satisfied with the outcome of the procedure: “This procedure was primarily for consumers harmful for being misled about the level of service they could expect in a hotel. At the same time, it led to prejudices against hotels that were rated lower than Atout, ”says a press release.

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