Google Buys Frommer's, the Travel Guidebook Brand


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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google is buying Frommer's, the travel guide book brand, from publisher John Wiley & Sons. Details of the acquisition are sparse, and the price paid for Frommer's has not been revealed.

According to All Things D, the deal is "not a huge one," since Wiley had put Frommer's up for sale some time ago. Wiley announced on March 7 of this year that Frommer's, Webster's New World, CliffsNotes, and other publishing assets were up for sale, as they "No loger align with the company's long-term business strategy." Wiley said in a statement today that proceeds from the Frommer's sale will go to support its global education business, as well as its trade, scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly publications.

A Google spokesperson told All Things D that the Frommer's brand and content will be added to Zagat, a restaurant review website that Google acquired late last year. Frommer's staff will also be incorporated into Zagat.

Zagat reviews were implemented into Google Maps and Google+ Local pages earlier this year. It's easy to see why Google would consider decades of Frommer's travel guides and reviews a good addition to their products, particularly considering its more localized search focus in recent years.

Frommer's publishing began in 1957, when Arthur Frommer adapted a European guidebook he had written for American soldiers. The civilian version of the book, Europe on $5 a Day, proved popular and Frommer continued to self-publish guidebooks. Frommer's now has over 300 regularly updated guidebooks and the travel website.