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Google scoops up Frommer’s to add to Zagat acquisition

Deal gives internet company a vast archive of digital reviews as part of goal to be principal destination for reviews and listings

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Google is to buy the travel guidebooks brand Frommer’s as the internet company ramps up its bid to become the premier destination for local reviews and listings online.

Google will pay an undisclosed sum for the Frommer’s brand, which launched in 1957 when Arthur Frommer published his ‘Europe on $5 a day’ guidebook.

The deal gives Google a vast and growing archive of digital reviews for its local listings, maps and mobile applications. It comes nearly a year after Google bought Zagat Survey, the restaurant review and ratings service.

Google said the Frommer’s purchase – which includes more than 300 guidebooks – would complement its aim to provide “a review for every relevant place in the world”.

The future of Frommer’s print titles is understood to be safe in the near term, but could be made online-only as the brand is merged with Zagat inside Google.

“The Frommer’s team and the quality and scope of their content will be a great addition to the Zagat team. We can’t wait to start working with them on our goal to provide a review for every relevant place in the world,” said a spokeswoman for Google.

Frommer’s owner John Wiley & Sons announced the deal on Monday. The publishing group said Frommer’s no longer aligned with its business strategy and the sale was part of plans to offload several other brands, including Webster’s New World and CliffsNotes.

Shares in John Wiley & Sons were down 0.27%, at $47.46 a share, in midday trading on the New York stock exchange. Google’s stock was up almost 2%, to $654 a share, on the Nasdaq after the deal was announced.

Google scoops up Frommer’s to add to Zagat acquisition

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