Yelp Asks Europe To Take Quick Action On Google

Yelp took aim at Google by filing a formal complaint with the European Commission (EC), alleging that the search engine prioritizes its own services and content in search, minimizing that of its competitors.

On Sunday, CBS ran a segment on the size and the power of Google. During the interview on "60 Minutes," Gary Reback, an antitrust lawyer, described Google as a monopoly supporting the backbone of the internet -- the “gatekeeper for the worldwide web.”

“They’re a monopoly in search,” Reback. “They’re a monopoly in advertising.”

Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp co-founder and chief executive officer, appeared in the "60 Minutes" piece arguing that Google may have begun as a company organizing the world’s information, “so you’d expect that the top links” on the page are the “best from around the web. … I can tell you that is not the case anymore.”

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Yelp is asking the European Union antitrust watchdogs to move to rectify the situation, contending that Google is harming businesses and consumers. The company wants the EU to force Google to remove alleged favoritism from its search results. 

In a post about the "60 Minutes" interview on Yelp, Luther Lowe, vice president of public policy for the review site, included a video on how local search results have changed since it created what they call the “Answer Box,” which Google says provides the best reviews and information about the business.

Lowe, of course, begs to differ, since Yelp’s specialty is to find and serve information about local businesses.

Interestingly, Lowe, in an email to Search Marketing Daily, pointed to the campaign recently launched by Yelp, TripAdvisor, and other consumer groups that talks directly to Google employees. It encourages them to make better design decisions that protect the health of the web and could alleviate the source of their antitrust scrutiny. 

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