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Google's effort to boost its portfolio of local business reviews marches on.
Less than a year after the search giant acquired Zagat reviews, it has now agreed to pay an undisclosed sum for the Frommer’s series of travel guides.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the purchase from John Wiley & Sons could mean change for the familiar red-and-white volumes, including the possibility that the print editions will be retired. A Zagat executive told the Journal that it isn’t clear yet how Google will use Frommer’s, but it may be folded into the Zagat brand, which Google purchased in September 2011 for $125 million.
The Frommer’s travel books have been published since 1957 and comprise several series outside of their bread-and-butter location-based guides. Fans of the paper editions may be comforted by Google’s decision to keep the print edition of Zagat even as it has integrated the company into local search results for restaurants and venues.
Elsewhere in Slate: Farhad Manjoo wrote in March on Google’s aggressive culture of acquisitions and how they are reshaping it into a more traditional business.