Yelp: FTC Investigation Is Closed - NBC Bay Area
Press Here

Yelp: FTC Investigation Is Closed



    Yelp: FTC Investigation Is Closed
    Bloomberg via Getty Images
    Yelp Inc. signage hangs outside of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., on Friday, March 2, 2012. Yelp Inc., the site that lets users review everything from diners to dentists, surged as much as 73 percent in its first day of trading after selling shares for more than planned in an initial public offering. Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

    Yelp took to its blog this week to announce the Federal Trade Commission has closed its investigation of the user-generated reviews site after complaints that its sales staff could manipulate reviews.

    "After nearly a year of scrutiny, the FTC decided to close its investigation without taking further action," according to the post written by spokesman Vince Solitto. "This marked the second time that the FTC had looked at our advertising practices and ended its inquiry without further action."

    In the past, Yelp has been sued by several small business owners who claimed the site "extorted advertising payments from them" by "manipulating reviews," according to the Wall Street Journal. It was thrown out as was an earlier lawsuit.

    We don't think Yelp will stop getting complaints because many small businesses are affected by negative reviews on the site, either financially or even personally. Perhaps Yelp might be better off if it created a business liaison who worked with businesses to better their reviews by making changes in quality or how they do business.