Yelp cleared of manipulating reviews in favour of advertisers

Reviews website Yelp has been cleared by American regulators of manipulating its content in favour of advertisers after the Federal Trade Commission opted to close its investigation into the business and take no further action.

An inquiry was launched in early 2014 following no less than 2.045 complaints filed against the company but many of these are thought to be disgruntled businesses unhappy with their ratings.

In a blog post Yelp wrote: “The FTC looked into our recommendation software, what we say to businesses about it, what our salespeople say about our advertising programs, and how we ensure that our employees are not able to manipulate the ratings and reviews that we display on our platform.

“After nearly a year of scrutiny, the FTC decided to close its investigation without taking further action. This marked the second time that the FTC had looked at our advertising practices and ended its inquiry without further action.”

Despite winning its courtroom battles Yelp faces a tougher fight to secure its long-term profitability following a disappointing sales forecast issued in its third-quarter earnings report.

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