The Local Business Center came back on line at about 2:45 EDT after being taken off line for several hours earlier today. While it does not appear that there are any new features in the LBC, it does appear that some of the merging of nearby competitors has dissipated.
The original examples of Hotels merging in Duluth, MN and Goldsboro NC have returned to normal. Hopefully the managers at the competing hotels can now take off their boxing gloves and return to the business of booking hotel rooms.
Here is a comparitive screen shot from 4/29 and today:
I have not checked all examples of all types of merging reported in the forums to see if there were improvements but the 4 or 5 geopositional mergings I did check showed as correct. During this most recent snafu there were increased reports of same location mergings, review and photo mergings as well as the more recent geoposition mergings. I would love to hear from folks who experienced the merging and whether the situation has improved across the board.Google Maps: Local Business Center Online - Merging Problem Improved? by Mike Blumenthal