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Tim Zagat
Zagat Survey will now find a home in Google's local services

In its never-ending quest for world domination, Google announced today that it has acquired Zagat. The Zagat Survey was first started by Tim and Nina Zagat in 1979, and aims to help make consumer more informed about eateries and lodging (among other categories) around the world. 

Zagat corporate overview page notes that:

With ratings and reviews based on the opinions of over 350,000 surveyors from around the globe, Zagat Survey has become the world's most trusted source to help consumers make informed decisions about restaurants, nightspots, hotels, attractions and other leisure activities. 

For its part, Google plans to roll Zagat into its "local reviews" services, and Business Insider believes that the purchase will mesh nicely with Google Offers. 

"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, said Marissa Mayer," Google Vice President of Local, Maps and Location Services. "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."

There is no word on how much Google paid for Zagat, but the company was on the auction block for $200 million USD back in 2008.

With this latest purchase, Google is showing that it's not afraid to go after the big guns in a wide variety of markets -- Android (iOS, Blackberry OS), Google Offers (Groupon), Google+ (Facebook), etc.

Updated 9/8/2011 @ 5:19pm

TechCrunch is reporting that while the sale price of Zagat still hasn't been disclosed, it is most definitely below $66 million USD. The reasoning behind this is that any transaction price over that threshold would automatically signal an FTC antitrust review.

In any case, $66M is a far cry from the $200M asking price three years ago.

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Brian S Hall as usual nails it
By Tony Swash on 9/8/2011 10:32:21 PM , Rating: 0
Brian S Hall as usual nails it
Business Insider has the story of Google's purchase of Zagat, which is explicitly designed to help Google kill Yelp and limit the dailiy deals options of Groupon. Google just announced it bought Zagat. Google declined to comment how much it acquired Zagat for. Google will likely use Zagat ratings to bolster its Google Offers product. Google Offers is a daily deals service that was launched after Google failed to acquire Groupon. With Zagat's ratings and reviews, Google will be able to compete directly with Yelp. (Another company Google failed to acquire.)

I'm a big boy. Business is business. And can be downright brutal. Many will not survive. But the fact is, I still believed everyone who uses the Internet or at some point plans to use the Internet is harmed, the *quality of information* is diminished and *choice* is reduced as long as Google can continue to use its monopoly profits in PC search to kill off anyone and everyone that comes up with something innovative and new.

It's your choice, boys and girls. Use it while you can.

I think Twitter's deal with Apple will help them survive. I think Facebook's user base will help them survive. Google is now content with doing everything they can to choke off any revenue and profit potential these companies can make. Still, lots of poeple like Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Groupon, iOS...and may come to like other great innovations on the web. Should they ever even see the light of day.

Competition is rough. There are winners and there are losers. Using your old world monopoly to prevent competition, and thus stop innovation, crush change, makes losers of us all. In their zeal to "organize all the world's information," it should be painfully obvious to all that Google intends to be the *only one* to profit from all this information. You've been warned.

RE: Brian S Hall as usual nails it
By ekv on 9/9/2011 3:10:33 AM , Rating: 2
A little over the top, perhaps, but an interesting read. Thanks. [Found the web-site easily enough, though maybe include a link next time?]

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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