Yelp maintains that it doesn't game the reviews on its site or try to extort businesses that refuse to pay for ads. In fact, it's just published a blog post to air that the Federal Trade Commission has finished a year-long deep inquiry into its business practices and has chosen not to take any action against the website. Yelp even claims this is the second time the FTC has investigated the company and finished without penalizing it in any way. Part of the blog post reads:
The FTC looked into our recommendation software, what we say to businesses about it, what our salespeople say about our advertising programs, and how we ensure that our employees are not able to manipulate the ratings and reviews that we display on our platform. After nearly a year of scrutiny, the FTC decided to close its investigation without taking further action.