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Yelp CEO Pushes Antitrust Case Against Google

 |  November 12, 2020

Yelp Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Stoppelman has long been convinced that Google has a monopoly in the internet search market and said a recent US antitrust case against the company validates his position, reported Bloomberg.

“We’re very encouraged by that,” Stoppelman said in an interview on Bloomberg TV Wednesday, November 11. “Google has behaved illegally and has leveraged its monopoly in ways that are destructive to innovation and competition. It’s bad for consumers, bad for small business owners.”

Yelp, a local search provider that collects reviews of restaurants, shops and services, claims Alphabet’s Google, which controls about 90% of the online search market, abuses its position by putting its own reviews higher in search results than those of its rivals.

“They’ve really tried to maximize the revenue and in doing so have put the consumer in the back seat,” Stoppelman said. “There’s no organic content anymore.”

Google Chief Legal Officer Kent Walker has argued that people use Google search “because they choose to, not because they’re forced to, or because they can’t find alternatives.”

Yelp and other small businesses faced a moment of “terror” in the early months of the pandemic, Stoppelman said, as cities shut down and people stayed indoors. But by the third quarter, Yelp reported sales that beat analysts’ estimates.

“We certainly took a pretty big hit in advertising dollars that people paused,” he said. But “looking at Yelp’s performance in the third quarter, we’ve really come back, in a big way, faster than even we were hoping for.”

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