Yelp is feeding its online reviews of restaurants and other local merchants to Microsoft's Bing search engine in a move to compete against Zagat ratings on Google.
Beginning Thursday, people using Bing to search for information about neighborhood businesses will be able to see excerpts from Yelp reviews.
The deal between Microsoft Corp. and Yelp Inc. comes two weeks after Google unveiled a new feature that serves up restaurant ratings from Zagat. Google Inc. bought Zagat's popular rating service for $151 million last year. To attract more people, Google scrapped the online fees that Zagat charged to read its ratings.
Google's decision to highlight Zagat in its influential search results threatens to divert traffic from Yelp. Joining forces with Bing makes sense for Yelp because both online services are locked in battle against Google to attract more advertising from local merchants.
Microsoft and Yelp also have complained that Google promotes its own services in its search results to stifle competition, allegations that are under investigation by government regulators in the U.S. and Europe.
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