Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP) stung by Operation Clean Turf

Posted by Nathan Alexander September 24, 2013 0 Comment 2205 views

The New York Attorney General’s office has found that companies such as Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP), CitySearch and Google Local have been flooding the online space with fake customer-reviews. This was found via a sting operation dubbed “Operation Clean Turf”.  The report said that the business owners who advertise their services and products via these sites were not to be blamed. On the other hand it was the companies who ran these websites that were guilty.

Prominent SEO firms were the ones who wrote and posted these fake reviews and literally hundreds of fraudulent online profiles were created to write them. These tech-savvy entities would use their knowledge about the internet and understanding about techniques like IP address spoofing to write these reviews.

The fines

Post this probe, 19 different companies have now committed that they will not post any fake reviews either for their clientele or themselves. They will be paying a total of $350+ as fines. Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP), on its part had praised the probe effort and had been struggling to deal with the fake review issue. They had pointed a finger at businesses and said that these reviews had been posted by them.

Monday’s trading

In Monday’s trading session, Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP) stock rose by 6.03%. The opening price of the shares was $69.13 which touched an intraday high of $69.47 and dipped to close at $65.80. Approximately 6.08 million shares were traded on Monday. An average volume of 3.33 million shares were traded over a period of 30 days. The 52-week low of the shares was $16.32 and the 52-week high was $71.50. The company has a market cap of $4.29 billion

The company

Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP) connects customers with various local businesses. The site’s users have contributed a total of around 36.0M cumulative-reviews of almost every kind of local business.

About Nathan Alexander

Nathan Alexander holds bachelor’s degrees in Journalism and European Studies from Boston University. Nathan reports round up the day’s business and financial market news and include keynote interviews with major business players and updates on Asian, European and US stock markets. He has interviewed heads of leading European banking institutions such as European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet and HSBC Chairman Stephen Green, and CEOs from the business world including Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Virgin Chairman Sir Richard Branson and former Porsche President and CEO Dr Wendelin Wiedeking.

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