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Operator of major restaurant review site Tabelog ordered to pay damages


Japan Today -- Jun 17
A Japanese court on Thursday ordered the operator of Tabelog, a popular restaurant review website, to pay about 38.4 million yen in damages to a Korean barbeque chain, judging that its rating algorithm is unfairly designed for chain outlets.

The Tokyo District Court found that the site operator Kakaku.com Inc. violated the antimonopoly law, saying its algorithm, which uniformly lowered scores of chain restaurants, is considered an "abuse of dominant bargaining position."

But the court rejected an injunction sought by the restaurant chain to stop the operator from using the algorithm, saying its negative impact on sales may not continue as consumers would choose restaurants by considering the change of the site's algorithm.

The ruling came as a number of restaurants have voiced concerns over opaque rating methods on one of the most influential restaurant review sites in the country.

In the ruling, the court said that Tabelog, which boasted about 87.63 million monthly users as of March, had a trading advantage over the chain and it would have to accept detrimental treatment if it ceases to be a paid member of the website. ...continue reading

Jun 17 (ANNnewsCH) - グルメサイト「食べログ」の評価点を巡る裁判で、東京地裁はサイトの運営会社に対し、3840万円を支払うよう命じました。  ...continue reading

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