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Yelp Hit With Class-Action Lawsuit, Extortion Allegations

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Generally speaking, the list of restaurateurs' grievances against Yelp runs very, very long, so it's likely that many will be smirking upon hearing today's news that two law firms have filed a class action lawsuit in Los Angeles federal court against the user review site, alleging unfair business practices

However, the plaintiff is not a restaurant, but rather, a veterinary hospital. The hospital claims that Yelp refuses to remove a negative review from its Yelp page, after Yelp sales reps repeatedly contacted the business looking for sponsorship/payments of roughly $300 per month "in exchange for hiding or deleting the review."

As TechCrunch points out, the extortion/bullying allegations of the Yelp sales force are virtually identical to the ones put forth in the lengthy anti-Yelp expose last year in the East Bay Express, and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman has even acknowledged the possibility that a "rogue sales person" (or 20?) might be at Yelp. But this time around, the debate will be in the courts, not in the media. Where there's smoke...
· Yelp Hit With Class Action Lawsuit For "Extortion Scheme" [TechCrunch]