The deal between Yelp and OpenTable is officially over

The two companies parted ways back in April, but are only now confirming the split

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
December 21, 2015
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You may have noticed that, starting earlier this year, you could no longer make OpenTable reservations through Yelp, something that you had been able to do for years. If you were wondering what happened we finally know: the two companies officially broke up, but never told anyone.

Yelp and OpenTable parted ways back in April, both companies have confirmed to VatorNews. The reason why seems to depend on who you ask, with both sides seeming to take credit for ending the relationship.

Yelp says it stopped using OpenTable in favor of its own products.

"It ended in April due to the success of our cheaper, competitive products, which grew 150% in the last year to 18,000 restaurants using Yelp's reservation offerings, including The Slanted Door, a top revenue grossing restaurant in California," a Yelp spokesperson told me.

OpenTable, meanwhile, is denying that Yelp brought in any significant business in the first pace.

"We discontinued our integration with Yelp in April. This did not have a material impact on our business or the millions of diners who find and book great restaurants on OpenTable," said an OpenTable spokesperson.

The two companies had first struck a deal back in 2010 to integrate OpenTable reservations on Yelp's vast number of restaurant listings. However the deal was in serious jeopardy once Yelp decided to, essentially, become a competitor to OpenTable. 

In March of 2014, Yelp announced that it was launching its own reservations service, which it called a tool that "allows businesses in the restaurant and nightlife categories to start taking online reservations in minutes." The feature was built upon the company's acquisition of table and wait list management software SeatMe in 2013. Users had already been able to use SeatMe to book reservations on Yelp, but this added a widget for businesses to add to their website, and was catered to smaller restaurants not big enough for SeatMe. 

With that acqusiition, and the new features, it was only a matter of time before Yelp would no longer need OpenTable, and OpenTable wouldn't want to help out one of its competitiors.

OpenTable, meanwhile, has also encroached onto Yelp's territory as well, bringing its reviews feature to mobile in February, allowing its user to write them right after they finished eating. 

There's something a little sad about two companies that had worked well together all of the sudden seeming to become enemies. This also begs the question: are either of these companies really good enough at the other thing not to need the other?

Does SeatMe have the power, or the same number of listing as OpenTable? Probably not. Also, there are plenty of stories criticizing OpenTable's reviews, calling into question whether or not they can actually be trusted.

On the other hand, the official breakup happened around nine months ago, and both companies seem to be doing ok.  

This news was first confirmed by Reuters

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