Google is set to pay 1.1 million euros as a fine after French authorities concluded that the search engine giant showed "misleading rankings" for French hotels.
The search engine giant used Atout France, the Tourism Development Agency, which is responsible for promoting France as a destination for tourists. Aside from data from Atout France, it also gathered input from other hotel industry websites. The search engine's algorithm would then rank hotels using one up to five stars, the latter as the highest, reported Gadgets 360.
Hoteliers, however, did not really like the rankings that Google gave them and started to complain about it to the French government. Responding to the complaints, the fraud and competition agency of France launched an investigation in 2019 up to 2020.
The investigation monitored the manner by which the hotels received a ranking from the search engine. The investigation monitored around 7,500 establishments, keeping track of the "nature and fairness of the information" that Google provides.
The tech giant stated that it has already made the necessary changes needed so that the rankings that it will display on Google Maps and Search will only reflect the official French star rating for the hotels.
In other Google-related news, the tech giant struck a deal with Seven West Media, a large Australian news media business. The partnership will have Google paying for journalism.
Google and Seven West Media announced that they agreed to have a "long-term partnership." Google, along with Facebook, had discussions with Australian government ministers.
"Their outstanding leadership on the implementation of the proposed news media bargaining code has resulted in us being able to conclude negotiations that result in fair payment and ensure our digital future," said Kerry Stokes, Seven West Media chairman.
"The negotiations with Google recognise the value of quality and original journalism throughout the country and, in particular, in regional areas," said Stokes, as indicated in U.S. News.
The deal between Seven West Media and Google came about under News Showcase. The tech company already reached several pay deals with more than 450 publications globally from the time that News Showcase was launched in October. Google has already paid seven smaller Australian websites, still under News Showcase.