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Google acquires restaurant reviewer Zagat

Tim and Nina Zagat have sold their 32-year-old business to Google

Embracing Google - a screenshot of Zagat's website today.
Embracing Google - a screenshot of Zagat's website today.
Image: Zagat

GOOGLE HAS ANNOUNCED that is has acquired Zagat, the global restaurant rater.

The acquisition was revealed on Google’s blog and Zagat’s website today.

Zagat, which is described by Google as a “pioneer in user-generated content” and creator of the world’s most influential and trusted consumer reviews, was started by married couple Nina and Tim Zagat 32 years ago.

The pair will continue as co-chairs of the company.

In an open letter on the Zagat website, the company’s founders said:

We believe that this merger will be not only in the best interests [of our dedicated staff], but also in the interests of our customers thanks to the vast additional resources and reach that Google will bring to our company. Google is the first place everyone goes when looking for information; it’s the perfect home for our content.

We couldn’t be happier to see our baby placed into such good hands and are looking forward to being Googlers in the years ahead.

Zagat started out providing reviews and ratings of eateries all over the world through slim, pocket-sized guides. Now, it has branched out to the Internet and includes places to drink, stay, shop and play in more than 100 cities.

It collates information through consumer survey-generated reviews, which rate the various venues out of 30.

Commenting on the acquisition, Google’s VP of Local, Maps and Location Services, Marissa Mayer said, “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.”

Neither company revealed how much money changed hands as part of the deal.

In 2008, the New York Times reported that the business – which was started as a hobby by the Zagats in 1979 – was put on the market with a value of about US$200m.

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