FTC Declines to Take Action Over Yahoo! Astroturfing

yahooweatherFTC Issues No Action Letter Over Yahoo! Astroturfing

The Federal Trade Commission has declined to take action In response to press reports that Yahoo! employees posted positive reviews of Yahoo! mobile apps on iTunes without disclosing their affiliation as required by the FTC’s Endorsement Guidelines.

The FTC enumerated the following factors for this decision:

  • there were only a few Yahoo! employee reviews;
  • the reviews were not incentivized by Yahoo!
  • the apps were free so there was little consumer harm as a result; and
  • Yahoo! had a policy in place prohibiting such conduct.

As reported previously, the FTC has issued no action letters to Ann Taylor, Coie Haan, HP and Nordstrom Rack.  The most recent and a collection of the prior letters are below.