Ireland: hotel filed a lawsuit against Google

Ireland: hotel filed a lawsuit against Google
Ireland: hotel filed a lawsuit against Google

Owners of the respectable Irish hotel located in the town of Co Louth in the south part of Ireland decided to sue Google. The reason for the lawsuit against Google was a popular function of a search engine, which helps to choose the right request. As it turned out, it is not only a useful search tool, but also a mechanism that can be more dangerous for the hotel reputation than any review.

Currently in the Google search bar when typing the request automatically is offered a variety of related variants that may be interesting for the user. However, as for the Ballymascanlon House Hotel, it does not look good both for the users and the owners.

The fact is that, according to the owners of the Quinn hotel chain, since 14 March 2011 when typing in the search bar the name of the Ballymascanlon hotel Google along with such correct possible variants as "golf" and "wedding" also shown as possible request "Ballymascanlon receivership".

In the business lexicon it also means the imposition of a special administrator in connection with bankruptcy proceedings. Thus, potential customers of Ballymascanlon House Hotel could refuse from booking of rooms, thinking that the hotel is in dire financial status.

Initially the claim was filed by Ballymascanlon to the Irish Google office in June 2011. Later the head office of the Google Inc in California, which is responsible for search algorithms, also faced trial, according to

The case is currently considered in the Commercial Court of Ireland. Irish lawyers say that this claim is quite unique for the world jurisprudence.

Commenting on the lawsuit, Google specialists note that the corporation itself does not define the sequence of variants in the search list. This is the task of the automatic algorithm. Thus, the fact that along with Ballymascanlon the engine also showed Ballymascanlon receivership among the requests was made possible due to the combination of factors that "forced" the search system to show such result. One of the factors, according to the Google specialists, is the popularity of this request.

Ilya Kalachev

Date: 10/11/2011

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