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Yelp is acquiring a taste for ex-rival Google





Maybe Google isn’t so bad after all.

Yelp, the popular local-review website, has been one of Google’s loudest critics — even testifying against the search giant during a Senate antitrust panel last year.

What a difference a few months make. Yelp, which has heretofore accused Google of ripping off its content, is now open to joining forces with its former foe.

Chief Financial Officer Rob Krolik, who spoke privately at a Jefferies tech conference last week in New York, said Yelp would have “no problem” teaming with Google, according to an analyst who attended the meeting. A company spokesman confirmed Krolik’s remarks, adding the firm was open to any beneficial partnership.

In addition, more than 50 percent of Yelp’s traffic comes through Google.

Yelp may have good reason to turn to Google: a common enemy.

Facebook is in the early stages of launching a rival restaurant review service that takes aim at Yelp.

Google also has reason to make nice. After trying to buy Yelp in 2009, it acquired Zagat and Frommer’s to beef up its local listings but might still be interested in working with Yelp and its strong brand, a source close to Google said.

jkosman@nypost.com



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Mystic Maggie

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