French competition authority fines Google for misleading hotel ranking
The French competition authority concluded after an investigation that Google ranked hotels in its search results in a way that is particularly damaging for consumers. Hoteliers had filed several complaints alleging that the way hotels were displayed on Google’s search engine was unfair when compared to the official classification released by Atout France (the French tourism agency). Google used different ranking criteria, but used an identical system of 1 to 5 stars which was considered confusing for consumers. The practice misled about the level of service clients could expect and was also detrimental to hoteliers whose businesses were wrongly presented as being lower ranked. After the investigations were concluded, the competition authority fined Google €1.1 million for misleading consumers.