Google is purchasing the venerable Frommer’s travel guide brand from publishers John Wiley & Sons. Under the terms of the deal, which are undisclosed, Google will also get the travel database. It is not known whether Google will continue to publish Frommer’s guidebooks in print.
The decision to acquire Frommer’s brings Google their second print brand–regardless of whether they continue to publish. Zagat, also a travel property, was purchased by Google in 2011. “Our commitment is to keep things as they are today and once we combine operations, we’ll know better what the future looks like,” Zagat’s Bernardo Hernandez told The Wall Street Journal‘s Jeffrey Trachtenberg.
One of Google’s major priorities has been the transformation of Google Maps and the Zagat-powered Google+ Local into a Yelp and Facebook killer. Frommer’s databases are also used by Kayak to help fuel hotel searches. Although the last few years have been rough for print travel guides as the Internet ate away at their past dominance, Frommer’s has extensive brand recognition and a large network of contacts throughout the travel and hospitality industries.
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