Yelp has been accused time and again of shady practices, such as manipulation of reviews in favor of businesses that advertise on the site. In September, The Daily Meal reported on a hearing by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals which ruled that Yelp is not doing anything illegal, and that review manipulation would, at best, be “hard to prove.” The most recent hearing comes from the Federal Trade Commission, which has officially finished its almost-yearlong review of Yelp and has decided to take no action against the digital review company.
Yelp has always maintained that despite numerous lawsuits, they have never manipulated reviews, nor have they ever contacted businesses to ask them for payment in exchange for removal of negative reviews.
“After nearly a year of scrutiny, the FTC decided to close its investigation without taking further action," said Yelp in a statement on its blog. "This marked the second time that the FTC had looked at our advertising practices and ended its inquiry without further action. The reason millions of people around the world use Yelp every day to find great local businesses is because they trust the content. That’s why we take so many steps to prevent gaming of our system and to protect consumers and business owners alike — and why we would never do anything to jeopardize that trust.”