Acting on its enduring claim that Google is a search-results cheater, Yelp renewed an antitrust lawsuit against the big G — and launched a campaign to convince Googlers they are unwittingly engineering an evil search monopoly.
Busy bee Yelp has been buzzing in Google’s ear for years. But with public skepticism of the fail-truistic tech tyrants at an all-time high, it wants to sting the search giant while the oven is still hot.
Users may love Google, but competitors don’t
Google may come off as harmless to consumers, but it’s ruthless toward competitors: Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, and Oracle have all lodged complaints against the search giant for abusing its information gatekeeper role by prioritizing self-serving search results.
Yelp launched its first legal accusation against the search behemoth in 2011 and has refused to pipe down ever since.
A vendetta 7 years in the making
Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman cranked up the heat on Google starting in 2011 by arguing the anti-Google case in front of the US Senate and tech regulators across the world. But in 2013 the FTC issued a crushing blow to Yelp and other critics by ruling Google had done no wrong.
Criticisms continued (despite a $2.7B European slap on Google’s $100B wrist last year), but Google continued expanding without paying much attention.
Now, recent privacy concerns have reopened the dialogue about big tech’s influence.
And the public is now listening…
When big tech’s virtuous veneer was peeled back during Facebook’s data-debacle, consumers caught a glimpse of data-burning furnaces that powered the industry. For the first time, Google looked more controlling than convenient.
Led by Yelp (muttering “I told you so” as it debuted its “Focus on the User” campaign), critics from 60 Minutes to the US Treasury have demanded regulation for Great Googly Moogly in just the past few weeks.
It’s unlikely that Google will make changes in the near future, but, that won’t stop Yelp from repeating its negative review of Google as the lawsuits continue.