Google Buys Zagat

Posted on September 8, 2011

Google just announced that it has purchased restaurant review giant Zagat. Google says "Google just got Zagat rated!" in the blogged press statement.

The deal is worth $151 million according to TechCrunch. The announcement came on Google's official blog and was made by Marissa Mayer, VP, Local, Maps and Location Services. Marissa said:

So, today, I'm thrilled that Google has acquired Zagat. Moving forward, Zagat will be a cornerstone of our local offering -- delighting people with their impressive array of reviews, ratings and insights, while enabling people everywhere to find extraordinary (and ordinary) experiences around the corner and around the world.

With Zagat, we gain a world-class team that has more experience in consumer based-surveys, recommendations and reviews than anyone else in the industry. Founded by Tim and Nina Zagat more than 32 years ago, Zagat has established a trusted and well-loved brand the world over, operating in 13 categories and more than 100 cities. The Zagats have demonstrated their ability to innovate and to do so with tremendous insight. Their surveys may be one of the earliest forms of UGC (user-generated content) -- gathering restaurant recommendations from friends, computing and distributing ratings before the Internet as we know it today even existed. Their iconic pocket-sized guides with paragraphs summarizing and "snippeting" sentiment were "mobile" before "mobile" involved electronics. Today, Zagat provides people with a democratized, authentic and comprehensive view of where to eat, drink, stay, shop and play worldwide based on millions of reviews and ratings.

For all of these reasons, I'm incredibly excited to collaborate with Zagat to bring the power of Google search and Google Maps to their products and users, and to bring their innovation, trusted reputation and wealth of experience to our users.

Zagat co-founders Nina and Tim Zagat posted a letter about the acquisition. The wrote, "After spending time with Google senior management discussing our mutual goals, we know they share our belief in user-generated content and our commitment to accuracy and fairness in providing users with the information needed to make smart decisions about where to eat, shop and travel."

It's an interesting and valuable acquisition which makes it clear that Google is very serious about location-based services and content.

Here's a video of Marissa Mayer talking about the deal.

Update: Google later sold Zagat to The Infatuation in 2018 as TechCrunch notes.


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