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News > Business

Google buys restaurant guide Zagat; shakes up reviews world

By Becky Paskin , 09-Sep-2011

Restaurant guide book Zagat Survey has been bought by internet giant Google for an undisclosed sum after 32 years in business.

Founders Tim and Nina Zagat publish guides to over 100 cities including London, the 2011 edition of which is due for release next week.

Google intends to incorporate the guides with its Google search and Google Maps capabilities to bring ‘their innovation, trusted reputation and wealth of experience’ to its users.

A statement issued by Google read: “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.”

The Zagats agreed to the deal – thought to be worth millions – after realising Google’s ‘shared 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’.

“We believe this union is the right next step for our employees, our users and for our business, all of which will benefit from the additional resources and reach that Google provides,” they said.

“Going forward, we will remain active in the business as co-chairs, helping to ensure that the combination of Zagat’s and Google’s assets and capabilities will maximize our product quality and growth.

“Google delivers the most relevant and high-quality information, and it's the perfect home for our content.

“We are thrilled to see our baby placed in such good hands and to start today as official ‘Googlers’.”

Upon the news breaking in the US where the guide originates, OpenTable’s shares reportedly fell more than 10 per cent, prompting speculation the takeover could shake up the restaurant reservations and guides industry.

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