Karlsruhe (dpa) - The online rating portal Yelp may base its overall rating, which is expressed in stars, on an automated selection based on a judgment of the Federal Court of Justice (BGH).

The BGH thus decided in a dispute between an operator of several fitness studios in the Munich area and the internet company. The sports entrepreneur felt too badly rated. The VI. Civil Senate overturned a different ruling by the Higher Regional Court (OLG) Munich.

The BGH Senate is of the opinion that the plaintiff's legally protected interests do not outweigh the sensitive interests of Yelp. The classification of ratings in "recommended" and "not recommended" is protected by the freedom of profession and expression. "A trader must accept criticism of his performance and the public discussion of criticism," said the presiding judge Stephan Seiters. (Az. VI ZR 495/18 and others).

Announcement by the BGH

OLG Munich judgment of 13 November 2018

Judgment of the LG Munich of February 12, 2016

Yelp on "Recommended Reviews"

Yelp explainer video on referral software

Press release from the BGH on the judgment