Yelp, a Consumer Watchdog lose Google’s intervention bid

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Search for the business on Yelp and the lobby group Consumer Watchdog lost their joint bid to intervene in Google’s challenge of a 2.4 billion euro ($2.7 billion) of the EU antitrust fine after a court said that they had no direct interest in the case.

FILE PHOTO: The Yelp Inc. the logo is to be seen in their offices in Chicago, Illinois, on March 5, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young/File Photo

The Luxembourg-based General Court also rejected applications from other Google rivals, according to a statement on its website.

The European Commission penalized Google, the world’s most popular internet search engine, last year for the benefit of its own comparison shopping service.

The case is set in motion by the Uk price comparison shopping site Foundem, while other European and AMERICAN competitors also filed a complaint.

AMERICAN Yelp and Consumer Watchdog had jointly asked to be a member of the judicial procedure, so that their rights and interests would be covered by the final judgment in the case.

The Court is, however, a backup Google’s argument against Yelp’s intervention, saying that while he took part as an interested party in the investigation of the EU, it runs a different business from Google.

“If Yelp does not work a search service, that specializes in comparison shopping results, it may not be directly affected by the decision with respect to the contested act and therefore do not meet the criterion in the case law,” judges said.

Yelp said that the fight against Google is far from over.

“It is a pity that the AMERICAN consumer is the votes of this organization will not be included in this specific phase of the comparison shopping case,” Yelp’s public policy senior vice president Luther Lowe said.

“But in the end we’re encouraged by the reports that the Commission has opened an investigation into Google’s anti-consumer behavior when it comes to local search.”

The court dismissed the lobbying group FairSearch’s bid to intervene in the shops the case. Judges said FairSearch had failed to prove it is a representative body.

They rejected intervention quotes from Prestige Gifts, Connexity, Ltd and the lobby group ICOMP.

This is one of the two Google challenges against the EU antitrust rulings, with the other in connection with Android.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Susan Fenton and Andrew Cawthorne

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