Google Close To Buying Yelp For $500 Million, Killing Another Pile Of Startups

Google is reported to be close to acquiring market leading business review site Yelp for around $500 million, a move that will kill another pile of similar/ smaller startups.

A Washington Post report claims that the deal is 80% likely and is past the term sheet stage. Yelp has raised approx $31 million to date.

Founded in 2004, Yelp has become the North American leader in business reviews, covering a wide range of businesses including restaurants (which it’s best known for), stores, beauty outlets, and even night clubs.

The move, which would see Yelp merged into Google’s moderately successful (and similar) review service, would create a giant in the review business that can only result in one thing: many smaller startups failing. After all, how could you compete with a combined Yelp/ Google service that embeds reviews in every Google Maps search, or offers those results up top (or near to it) in a general Google search. It’s in the to be expected column to some degree, but sadly in this case innovation may be the loser.

According to Alexa, Yelp is the 345th most popular site on the Internet, and the 75th most popular site in the United States.