Google Acquires Zagat

September 12th, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Google really has a diverse range of acquisition plans. Well, that is not really something new as the online search giant has done it time and again in the past. This time, its recent acquisition target has been the reputable restaurant review company, Zagat.

It has recently been announced on Google’s blog that it is acquiring Zagat, a company that is known for providing restaurant reviews and ratings online. According to reports, Google took on the restaurant review company for a supposed price of around $125 million. That may be considered peanuts compared to another of Google’s recent acquisitions, Motorola Mobility. The reported price of the acquisition is around 1 percent of what Google is planning to pay for acquiring Motorola Mobility, supposedly acquired for its hoard of mobile patents to boost up its war chest in defending Android from costly litigation issues. But that is another story.

Back to Zagat, it is said that the famed restaurant review company and its ratings will be integrated on some of Google’s products. According to Marissa Mayer, Google’s VP for local and the one who announced the acquisition, Zagat reviews and ratings will be integrated with Google Search and Maps. Ms. Meyer heaped praise on Zagat and considered it as one of the very first to have taken advantage of user-generated content.

Zagat provides its restaurant ratings based on gathering restaurant recommendations from friends and colleagues and then computing the gathered results into its overall ratings. This was done even way before the Internet even discovered the power of user-generated content. Zagat’s penchant for providing paragraph snippets of info on its pocket-sized restaurant guides is considered ideal for mobile use today.

With its recent acquisition, Google may even have gotten a better deal. Zagat was already once placed on the acquisition block around three years ago for $200 million. At the reported $125 million purchase price, Google may have bought the company today for its valued worth in way back in 2000. But whether it may be a successful and profitable acquisition for Google is another matter altogether.

Google has also been known for its sometimes erratic actions when it comes to its acquisitions. Not all of its acquisitions in the past have been known to succeed. Just recently, it has also streamlined its operations by getting rid of a number of its products and services and closing them down. And because of this, it is not entirely known how long will the Zagat acquisition last in terms of its potential use and integration within Google or if ever the grand plans for it may take off at all. But then, that is how Google does business with its acquisitions. It is always a make or break situation.


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