Google to Acquire Frommer’s and it’s Gurus

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On Monday, Google released the news that it would be acquiring Frommer’s, a travel guide business, from publisher John Wiley & Sons Inc. While the deal hasn’t closed yet, Google have reportedly paid approximately $25 million for Frommer’s in a bid to attract more advertising.

The Frommer’s deal will allow Google to sell more travel-related advertisements and, more importantly, allow the company to incorporate Frommer’s data about local businesses around the world into their local-business listings, much like they did with Zagat Survey’s reviews and ratings after they acquired that company in 2011. With both company’s plethora of expert ratings and reviews, Google is looking to become a trusted guide for both travel and local-business information.

While a Google spokeswoman declined to comment, this is more evidence that Google is moving away from its roots of crowd sourced content and looking to own professional content but unfortunately it does come with controversy.

Google are now under scrutiny by antitrust authorities due to allegations that the company is directing its search-engine users to its Google+ business listings, undermining travel giants such as TripAdvisor and Yelp. However the company have long denied any anticompetitive practices.

The company isn’t focusing on the negative however and are looking forward. While they aren’t sure whether the Frommer’s guidebooks will continue to be published in print just yet, Bernardo Hernandez, a director of product management within Google’s Zagat unit said, “Our commitment is to keep things as they are today and once we combine operations, we’ll know better what the future looks like.”

Frommer’s was founded in 1957 by Arthur Frommer who published “Europe on Five Dollars a Day”. The brand has been owned by Wiley since 2001 and they have been looking to sell it since March as it no longer aligned with its long-term strategies.

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