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September 20, 2011

Seeking a Level Playing Field...

Yelp helps consumers find great local businesses. One important way consumers find Yelp is through a search on Google.

You may have heard that a number of government officials are investigating whether Google has violated state and federal anti-trust laws. The Federal Trade Commission, state attorneys general and a U.S. Senate subcommittee are all trying to determine if Google is competing fairly in the marketplace, or if they have acted in ways that are anti-competitive.

Because Google competes against Yelp to provide consumers with the best information about local businesses, these government groups have asked Yelp to discuss our experiences with Google’s conduct.

We have responded to these requests and told officials that we believe Google has acted anti-competitively in at least two key ways: by misusing Yelp review content in their competing Places product and by favoring their own competing Places product in search results.

We have been invited to participate in a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust hearing about this issue later today; below you can read the testimony I will deliver. I am thankful for the Senate’s interest in this issue and honored to be asked to assist in ensuring fair competition on the Internet for consumers and small businesses alike.

Written Testimony

Exhibits

Oral Remarks