Google is buying travel brand Frommer's, according to The Wall Street Journal. The search engine is reportedly purchasing the brand from John Wiley & Sons in order to bolster its search results regarding local places and attractions. In case you’re not familiar with Frommer's, it provides a detailed database of places to visit in various cities across the world, as well as hotel, restaurant, and store listings.
The price for the deal hasn’t been disclosed, and it’s not entirely clear if Frommer's will continue to publish its material or if it will be exclusive to Google, but the deal will be finalized soon. The Frommer's brand could be integrated into Zagat listings, however. Google purchased Zagat back in September 2011 in order to display the Zagat ratings on search results for hotels and restaurants, so adding additional venues into the mix with Frommer is a smart move.
When asked to comment on the sale, the managing director of product management for Zagat, Bernardo Hernandez, said: “Our commitment is to keep things as they are today and once we combine operations, we'll know better what the future looks like." He went on to say, "Consumers need fresh accurate information. When you add information you can trust to phone numbers and addresses as part of the Google search experience, it enables users to convert their intentions into actions.”
Google looks to be stocking up on travel related information and listings in an effort to keep competitors such as Foursquare and Facebook at bay. The company has been displaying its own user submitted reviews for services and places for some time, but has recently made an effort acquire additional services to display more detailed scores and reviews. Google has also promoted travel as a part of Google Now, with the predictive search assistant displaying information for local transportation and flights.