Google walks away from Yelp talks

Google Inc., the world’s most popular Internet search engine, has walked away from takeover talks with the consumer-review site Yelp Inc., a person familiar with the matter said.

Google executives pulled out because Yelp wasn’t being transparent during the discussions, according to the person, who declined to be identified because the talks were private. Google was in negotiations last week to buy Yelp for more than $500 million, according to another person familiar with the matter.

Google is on a buying spree, announcing at least six acquisitions this year. The company agreed last month to pay $750 million for AdMob Inc., a mobile-advertising startup. Google and Yelp could still restart negotiations in the future, said Jeremiah Owyang, an analyst with Altimeter Group in San Mateo, California.

“There’s no rush — there’s plenty of opportunity for discussions later,” he said. “It does make a lot of sense for Google to be part of this.”

Jane Penner, a spokeswoman for Mountain View, California- based Google, and Stephanie Ichinose, a spokeswoman for Yelp, declined to comment.

Yelp, based in San Francisco, features user reviews of restaurants, mechanics, dentists and other businesses. More than 26 million people visit the service monthly, and at least 8 million users post reviews. The site would have provided Google with local content, giving it new ways to sell advertising.

Google rose 92 cents to $599.60 at 2:32 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The shares have almost doubled this year.

The technology blog TechCrunch and the New York Times reported on the breakdown in talks earlier this week.

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