Legal Archives


Surprise — Local Search Not Part of EU’s Google Antitrust Charges

Tweet As expected this morning the European Commission filed a formal Statement of Objections against Google. These are formal charges that Google abused its market position in search in Europe. Google will get a chance to rebut them but the outlook for Google is not great. Google competitors and critics had been vigorously lobbying for […]

New Documentary Exhumes Yelp ‘Extortion’ Allegations That Won’t Go Away

Tweet Plaintiffs in multiple lawsuits have unsuccessfully argued that Yelp is a “shake-down” racket that manipulates reviews to encourage SMBs to advertise and punish those that don’t. At the heart of these claims is Yelp’s controversial and often misunderstood “review filter.” Now a new crowdfunded documentary seeks to make the same argument to the broader public. […]

Yelp Sues SMB Reputation Firm for Shady Review Solicitation, Management

Tweet Yelp has sued a company called “Revleap” that says it will deliver 4 or 5 star reviews on Yelp while withholding reviews of three stars or below in “the control center for your quality control.” To many business owners this sounds like the answer to the unending challenge of gaining a steady stream of […]

Privacy Surveys: It Matters How You Ask the Question

Tweet The Place Conference is today in NYC. As part of my opening slides I’m presenting survey data about consumer attitudes toward indoor location and privacy. There are now many dozens of surveys about consumer privacy, online advertising and data collection in the market. In the case of indoor location in particular those surveys often […]

The Privacy Paradox: It All Depends on How You Ask the Question

Tweet Consumers are confused and ambivalent about online and mobile privacy. What do they really think and feel? A thousand surveys won’t clear that up. That’s because it all depends on how surveys ask and frame the issues. According to a late 2013 TRUSTe consumer survey (conducted by Harris), consumer privacy concerns are increasing. The […]

Hospital Uses Consumer Shopping Data to Make Treatment Decisions

Tweet I’ve always argued: it’s not so much whether Google or Amazon know my search history or shopping preferences, it’s whether those data are then used to make decisions about whether I get access to credit or a job or to make healthcare decisions about me and my family. The healthcare issue is raised in […]

Top 5 Things Marketers Must Know about Location + Privacy — Free Webinar

Tweet A few weeks ago local San Francisco coffee chain Philz Coffee agreed to “stop tracking customers” following an “investigative report” from a local ABC TV affiliate. The station trumpeted the move as though it had uncovered some secret government conspiracy or major corporate corruption. The owner, Jacob Jaber, tried to explain to ABC that the Euclid system “is not shared […]

What Google’s New European ‘Rival Links’ Local Results Will Look Like

Tweet Many of you already know this: yesterday Google and the European Commission settled the antitrust search investigation against the company in Europe. The parallel US action was settled a year ago. There were a number of issues in the case; however the main focus was on Google’s “vertical results,” which rivals contended were siphoning […]

Fake Review Crackdown in NYC

Tweet According to the NY Times, “New York regulators will announce on Monday the most comprehensive crackdown to date on deceptive reviews on the Internet. Agreements have been reached with 19 companies to cease their misleading practices and pay a total of $350,000 in penalties.” The idea is to take down companies that make a […]

Google Tests Links to Rival Local Sites in UK Search Results

Tweet Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Roundtable posted about the discovery of a new Google UK local search results page. It displays three links to competitor services: These three “rival links” are part of a package of formal concessions Google has offered to the European Commission to settle the antitrust case against the company. Google […]