For years, Yelp has been dogged by claims that businesses that pay it money receive better treatment on the site. But courts and regulators have consistently sided with Yelp. Now the company has another piece of evidence that its system for sorting online reviews—love it or hate it—isn’t subject to unfair manipulation.
Yesterday, Yelp disclosed in an official blog post that the Federal Trade Commission has concluded an almost year-long investigation into the site’s practices and decided to take no action.
The company is treating the FTC’s inaction as something of a backhanded endorsement, which is not unreasonable. The agency has hardly been shy about taking on tech companies it thinks are pushing the boundaries of the law. It has gone after Google and Facebook over privacy issues, despite the fact that online privacy laws range from weak to nonexistent.
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