Yelp uses FTC complaint to claim Google has violated 2012 settlement terms

Yelp’s latest review of Google comes with zero stars. 

The San Francisco-based online review and recommendation company has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission in which it claims Google has violated a settlement to not take certain types of content from Yelp and other third-party sites. 

Under terms of the settlement, which Google agreed to in December 2012, the Internet search monolith agreed to not use photos, user reviews and other content from third-party sites that chose to not partake in the practice that is known as “scraping.” The settlement is supposed to last until the end of this year. 

Yelp says Google has violated the settlement by using photos from Yelp that are part of listings for local businesses in its own search results. Yelp has asked Google to not use content from its site in Google search queries. 

The complaint stems from a contact Yelp received from a gym in North Carolina last month. The gym said a photo from a rival gym that had been pulled from Yelp’s site was being used in its business listing on Google. 

Yelp has long accused Google of engaging in practices meant to stifle local-search competition and support its own search efforts. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, Yelp found that during an hour-long search, Google had pulled almost 390,000 images off Yelp’s servers for use in Google Maps business listings. Those images were not to be included in Google search results or listings based on the companies’ 2012 settlement. 

Google could face a possible fine as a result of the Yelp complaint, as the FTC said it would penalise the company if it failed to comply with the settlement from 2012. — San Jose Mercury News/Tribune News Service