Google buys Zagat to vie with OpenTable, Yelp
"Google Inc has bought popular dining ratings authority Zagat, adding a valuable brand to its content offerings and bolstering its push into the rapidly growing local commerce market.
Local commerce offers services such as finding a discount from a nearby store, or a review of a neighborhood eatery, and the world's No. 1 search engine plans to compete in this market against Yelp and OpenTable.
The deal, for which Google did not provide financial information, gives it valuable content about restaurants, hotels and nightclubs that can be paired with its popular online maps and mobile search services.
Google needs to provide more than just directions to consumers seeking information about restaurants and other local businesses, said Marissa Mayer, Google's VP of Local, Maps and Location services, in an interview with Reuters on Thursday.
"It's also (about) getting them a sense of the place. A sense of what to expect," said Mayer. "Zagat reviews, in a few short lines and a few scores, gives you a great sense of a place very quickly when you're on the go."
The move is part of Google's push to adapt its online services for a world in which consumers increasingly access the Web on mobile phones such as Apple Inc's iPhone and rely on social networking services such as Facebook to get information from friends.
Last month, Google announced plans to acquire mobile phone manufacturer Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. The deal, if approved by regulators, will allow Google to produce its own line of smartphones based on its Android software. (...)"