23 May 2018 at 10:13 BST

Yelp calls on EU in renewed antitrust complaint against Google

Antitrust complaint by Yelp is revisited following EU's ruling last year that Google misused its dominance.


Yelp has renewed a European antitrust complaint against Alphabet Inc’s Google, seeking to advance a longstanding accusation that the US search giant unfairly promotes its own services in results. A previous complaint Yelp filed in 2014 did not lead the European Union to issue any formal charges against Google, nor have letters and testimony to US regulators led to charges in America. However, the company now says it has strengthened its complaint by looking at the EU’s ruling last year that Google misused its dominance in product shopping search results, which led to a $2.9-billion fine which Google is appealing. Yelp has also taken into account Google’s rebuttal to an antitrust complaint in Brazil related to shopping results. A Google spokesperson said in a statement, ‘Our responsibility is to deliver the best results possible to our users, not specific placements for sites within our results. We understand that those sites whose ranking falls will be unhappy and may complain publicly.’

Inferior searches

Yelp’s complaint remains that Google’s local search tools, such as business listings and reviews from Google Maps, are placed top in results while links to Yelp and other sources of potentially more helpful information are listed much lower. Luther Lowe, Yelp’s senior vice president of public policy, told Reuters ‘When a mother does a search for a pediatrician in Berlin...she is being siphoned into an inferior experience powered exclusively by Google’s local review content.’ The new complaint was first reported in the Financial Times.


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