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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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