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Levitt v. Yelp Motion to Dismiss

Levitt v. Yelp Motion to Dismiss

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Published by Eric Goldman

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Published by: Eric Goldman on Mar 25, 2011
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05/03/2011

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Y
ELP
S
M
OTION TO
D
ISMISS AND TO
S
TRIKE
CV
 
10-01321
 
MHP;
 
CV
 
10-02351
 
MHP
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Gibson, Dunn &Crutcher LLP
GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER LLPGAIL LEES, SBN 90363glees@gibsondunn.com333 South Grand AvenueLos Angeles, California 90071-3197Telephone: (213) 229-7000Facsimile: (213) 229-7520S. ASHLIE BERINGER, SBN 263977SUSANNAH WRIGHT, SBN 264473aberinger@gibsondunn.comswright2@gibsondunn.com1881 Page Mill RoadPalo Alto, California 94304-1211Telephone: (650) 849-5300Facsimile: (650) 849-5333YELP! INC.AARON SCHUR, SBN 229566aschur@yelp.com706 Mission StreetSan Francisco, California 94103Telephone: (415) 908-3801Facsimile: (415) 908-3833Attorneys for DefendantYELP! INC.UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTNORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIASAN FRANCISCO DIVISIONBORIS Y. LEVITT D/B/A RENAISSANCERESTORATION, CATS AND DOGS ANIMALHOSPITAL, INC., TRACY CHAN D/B/AMARINA DENTAL CARE andPROFESSIONAL CONSTRUCTION GROUP,INC. D/B/A PAVER PRO; on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated,Plaintiff,v.YELP! INC.; and DOES 1 through 100,inclusive,Defendants.Case No. CV 10-01321 MHPConsolidated with CV 10-02351MHPCLASS ACTION
DEFENDANT YELP! INC.’S NOTICE OFMOTION AND MOTION TO DISMISSSECOND AMENDED CLASS ACTIONCOMPLAINT AND TO DISMISS OR STRIKE CLASS ACTIONALLEGATIONS; MEMORANDUM OFPOINTS AND AUTHORITIES
 Date: February 7, 2011Time: 2:00 p.m.Place: Courtroom 15, 18
th
Floor 450 Golden Gate AvenueSan Francisco, CaliforniaJudge: The Honorable Marilyn H. Patel
Case3:10-cv-01321-MHP Document59 Filed12/17/10 Page1 of 32
 
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Gibson, Dunn &Crutcher LLP
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PageI. ISSUES TO BE DECIDED ...................................................................................................... 1 II. INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT ....................................................... 1 III. ALLEGATIONS IN THE COMPLAINT................................................................................. 3 A. Yelp’s Online Review Service...................................................................................... 3  1. Yelp’s Automated Review Filter ...................................................................... 4  2. Yelp’s Advertising Program ............................................................................. 4  B. Named Plaintiffs’ Allegations....................................................................................... 4  1. Non-Sponsor Plaintiffs:..................................................................................... 4  a. Boris Levitt ........................................................................................... 4  b. Cats & Dogs.......................................................................................... 6  2. Sponsor Plaintiffs.............................................................................................. 7  a. Tracy Chan............................................................................................ 7  b. Paver Pro............................................................................................... 9  3. Plaintiffs Fail To Allege the Core Elements of Their Claims........................... 9  C. Class Allegations......................................................................................................... 10  D. The Second Amended Complaint............................................................................... 11  IV. ARGUMENT.......................................................................................................................... 11 A. Applicable Legal Standard.......................................................................................... 11  1. Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Standing Under Rule 12(b)(1)....................... 11  2. Motion to Dismiss Under Rule 12(b)(6)......................................................... 11  B. Plaintiffs Lack Standing To Pursue Their Claims ...................................................... 12  1. Plaintiffs Lack Article III Standing................................................................. 12  a. Plaintiffs Fail to Sufficiently Allege an Injury In Fact ....................... 12  b. Plaintiffs Have Not Alleged a Non-Speculative CausalConnection.......................................................................................... 14 c. Plaintiffs Fail to Sufficiently Allege a Redressable Injury................. 16  2. Plaintiffs Also Lack Standing Under the UCL ............................................... 16  C. Plaintiffs Also Fail To State A Claim Under The UCL.............................................. 17  1. Plaintiffs Have Not Alleged “Unlawful” Conduct.......................................... 18  a. Plaintiffs Fail to Allege That Yelp Engaged in a Threat of Unlawful Injury or Wrongful Use of Fear.......................................... 18 
Case3:10-cv-01321-MHP Document59 Filed12/17/10 Page2 of 32
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS[Continued]
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Gibson, Dunn &Crutcher LLP
b. Non-Sponsors Plaintiffs Also Fail to Allege That TheyProvided Property to Yelp................................................................... 20 c. Plaintiffs Do Not Allege That Fear Was the ControllingCause of Any Decision To Advertise ................................................. 21 d. Plaintiffs Fail to Allege That Any Purported “Fear” WasReasonable.......................................................................................... 21 2. Plaintiffs Have Not Alleged “Unfair” Conduct .............................................. 22  D. Because Plaintiffs Do Not Have Standing and Fail to State a SufficientClaim, the Class Allegations Also Must Be Dismissed.............................................. 23 E. The Second Amended Complaint Should Be Dismissed Without Leaveto Amend..................................................................................................................... 23 F. Plaintiffs Cannot Plead Legally Sufficient Class Allegations..................................... 23  V. CONCLUSION....................................................................................................................... 25 
Case3:10-cv-01321-MHP Document59 Filed12/17/10 Page3 of 32

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