Google will pay a fine of 1.1 million euros for a “misleading classification” of hotels in France



In France, the stars awarded by Google do not reflect the quality of services in the hotel sector. The American giant will pay a fine of one million euros in France for having carried out a “misleading classification” hotels in France, substituting a classification established according to its own criteria for the official classification carried out by Atout France, which ranges from one to five stars, announced the Fraud Control, Monday February 15.

“The companies Google Ireland and Google France have corrected their practices and, after the agreement of the public prosecutor of Paris, have agreed to pay a fine of 1.1 million euros as part of a criminal transaction”, the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) announced in a press release. Google “had replaced the Atout France classification with a classification established according to its own criteria”, who “was greatly confused by its presentation and by the identical use of the term ‘stars’, on the same scale from one to five, to classify tourist accommodation”, can we read there.

If Google has used the official ranking issued by Atout France since September 2019, this old practice, “particularly damaging for consumers, deceived as to the level of services they could expect” by booking accommodation, was also detrimental to hotelierss “whose establishments were wrongly presented as lower ranked than in the official classification of Atout France”, according to the DGCCRF.

On the side of the main union of the hotel and catering industry, Umih, Laurent Duc, president of the hotel industry, said “very satisfied”, from AFP. “It was crucial for us to protect the stars of classified accommodation: this classification made by Atout France has a value, it corresponds to more than 250 points to be respected: size of the room, presence of a bathroom, number of taken … We rose up against this in 2008 “, he said.

Google Gold “did not want to hear anything and continued to use stars based on consumer comments, which misled the public because in France stars are reserved for hotels, tourist residences and classified campsites. They would put on small flowers or small pointed hats , there would be no problems “, continued Laurent Duc.

The rating now reflects only the official French ranking of hotels on Google Search and Maps, Google France told AFP.

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