Yelp Cleared of Fudging Reviews to Benefit Advertisers

Following a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigation, American regulators have now cleared reviews website Yelp of manipulating its content in favour of advertisers and will pursue no further legal action.

The investigation was launched in early 2014 after as many as 2.045 complaints were made against Yelp. The conclusion was reached however that many of the complaints were from businesses that were simply displeased with their customer ratings.

A Yelp spokesperson commented via a blog post: "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."

Although Yelp is enjoying an end to these legal issues, the company faces bigger problems when it comes to long-term profitability, having suffered a disappointing sales forecast in its third-quarter earnings report.

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