Customer Reviews from Third Party Websites on Google Places Axed

Google Inc. has stopped using customer reviews from third party websites for its Google Place service following anti-trust investigation by the federal authorities.

According to The Financial Times, last week Mountain View, California-based Internet Search giant put a full stop to the use of information from other websites for its Google Places service that offers help and information about local businesses.

The company brought a change in its business practice following the anti-trust investigation initiated by the US Federal Trade Commission in the month of June. The company is facing a similar investigation in Europe after small and medium businesses like TripAdvisor, Yelp and Citysearch accused Google Inc. for exploiting customer reviews from their websites to enhance its information system.

“Based on careful thought about the future direction of Place pages, and feedback we’ve heard over the past few months, review snippets from other web sources have now been removed from Place pages.” director of product management at Google, Avni Shah wrote in an official blog post. She also added that Google Places will now consist of reviews and comments posted by Google users only.

Google Inc. in its argument has said that the company’s sole aim is to help its users rather than third party websites.