Google Acquires Zagat [Updated]

Categories: Media
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Well, now, this is interesting: Google announced today that it has acquired reader-generated-review pioneer Zagat. Marissa Mayer, a Google vice president, made the announcement on the search engine's official blog:
Moving forward, Zagat will be a cornerstone of our local offering--delighting people with their impressive array of reviews, ratings and insights, while enabling people everywhere to find extraordinary (and ordinary) experiences around the corner and around the world.
Zagat founders Nina and Tim Zagat will remain with the company, the couple announced in a letter on the Zagat site, which also contained the following passage:

From its beginning, Zagat Survey has empowered consumers by giving them a vehicle to express their opinions. Today Zagat offers its succinct, curated, survey-based ratings and reviews in print, online and on virtually every mobile platform. Covering countries around the globe, Zagat has come to be a symbol of quality.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the active participation of hundreds of thousands of knowledgeable consumers. Their experiences, expertly distilled into numerical ratings and concise, witty, quote-filled reviews, provide accurate guidance for a wide range of leisure activities.
Hm. Concise, witty user-generated reviews combined with the world's leading search engine? Sure as heck sounds like Google wants to compete directly with Yelp. Remember: In 2009, Yelp reportedly walked away from a deal to be purchased by Google.

Update: (Friday, September 9, 9:52 a.m.) The New York Times reports that the purchase price was between $100 million and $200 million.

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