Google to buy Frommer's guides


Google is buying the Frommer's travel guidebooks, the Web search giant's latest move to amass a trove of content that could help its push into the local commerce market.

The deal, announced today by Frommer's owner John Wiley & Sons Inc comes nearly a year after Google's $151 million purchase of the Zagat guidebooks, which offer reviews of restaurants, hotels and nightclubs in cities around the world.

Google and Wiley & Sons did not announce financial terms for the Frommer's deal, which is expected to close shortly.

A Google spokeswoman said the company would integrate the Frommer's content with Zagat over time, but that it would initially offer the reviews of hotels, restaurants and sights across the world on the Web under the Frommer's brand name.

The spokeswoman said there was nothing to announce regarding whether Google would continue to publish the print guidebooks.

Shares of Google, which also announced plans to layoff 20 per cent of the recently acquired Motorola Mobility business today, were up 1.9 per cent to $654.33 in midday trading. Wiley and Sons shares were off 14 cents, less than one pe rcent, at $47.45.

Shares of Yelp, which provides online users reviews were down 6.9 percent to $24.06 in midday trading today, while online travel website Expedia's stock was down 1.8 per cent at $53.46.

Google, the world's largest Internet search engine, has been adding its own reviews and other types of content to the results that users find on its website.

Adding content about restaurants and other small business in different cities could help Google's efforts to attract more advertising dollars from local businesses, analysts say.

"The Frommer's team and the quality and scope of their content will be a great addition to the Zagat team. We can't wait to start working with them on our goal to provide a review for every relevant place in the world," Google said in a statement.