Yelp Files Antitrust Complaint Against Google, Which Is Appealing A $2.8B Fine From 2017

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Kyle Perisic Contributor
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Yelp has filed an antitrust complaint against Google to the European Union’s Competition Commission, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

Yelp wants EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager to investigate Google’s practices, alleging Google is violating antitrust laws for favoring its own content more than others.

The EU Competition Commission said it “continues to actively investigate Google’s vertical services other than comparison shopping,” the Financial Times reported. But it’s unknown when or if an investigation will occur.

“If I were starting out today, I would have no shot of building Yelp. That opportunity has been closed off by Google and their approach,” Yelp co-founder Jeremy Stoppelman said in a “60 Minutes” interview on Sunday.

Google’s approach, Stoppelman said in the interview, hurts small businesses because the majority of people using Google for searches click on the first few links, and Google put its businesses at the top.

If Google views a small or new business as a threat, it will “snuff you out,” and “they will make you disappear. They will bury you,” Stoppelman explained. (RELATED: Google Is Crushing Small Business, Antitrust Authorities Say)

Google is currently appealing a fine for 2.3 billion euros (about $2.8 billion) that EU antitrust authorities charged the quarter-trillion dollar company with in 2017.

The 2017 case against Google found that Google was using its monopoly of search engines to place its shopping business, Google Shopping, in searches before its competitors, the Financial Times reported on June 27.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the U.S. investigated Google’s practices in 2011. Despite the FTC Bureau of Competition recommending an antitrust lawsuit be filed against Google, federal authorities closed the case without charging Google for any wrong-doing.

Some have speculated that Google was able to evade prosecution due to its lobbying efforts and close relationship with the Obama administration.

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