Yelp complains to FTC that Google is violating 2012 settlement by scraping its content

Yelp accuses Google of unfairly scraping its content

Yelp complains to FTC that Google is violating 2012 settlement

Yelp had previously complained about its reviews being used in Google’s local-business listings.

By JACK NICAS Published: Sept 11, 2017 7:29 p.m. ET

Online-reviews firm Yelp Inc. alleged that Google is breaking a promise it made as part of a 2012 regulatory settlement to not scrape content from certain third-party sites including Yelp, escalating its years-long battle against the search giant.

Yelp said in a letter late Sunday to Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Maureen Ohlhausen that Alphabet Inc.’s Google is using Yelp photos for local-business listings in its search results, despite Yelp’s formal request that Google not pull such content from its site.

As part of a December 2012 settlement to end an FTC investigation into Google, the tech giant agreed to not use content, including photos and user reviews, from third-party sites that opted out of such scraping. Google’s commitment lasts through 2017 and applies to a variety of its products, including its local-business listings.

“This is a flagrant violation of Google’s promises to the FTC, and the FTC should reopen the Google case immediately,” said Luther Lowe, Yelp’s public-policy chief.


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