The Net search giant says it has acquired restaurant review publisher Zagat for an undisclosed amount of money.
The move will give Google a popular guidebook franchise along with a big online dining discussion forum as it pushes further into the local advertising market.
"Zagat will be a cornerstone of our local offering," Google local business chief Marissa Mayer wrote in a blog post Thursday.Zagat reviews feature a numerical rating as well as a composite opinion based on snippets of user surveys. The move is a direct attack on upstarts, like review site Yelp, local coupon specialist Groupon and is a potential threat to restaurant reservation broker OpenTable (OPEN). OpenTable shares fell 10% on news of the deal Thursday. Google has been beefing up its local daily-deal effort with Google Offers and has been pushing its local search and location-based services on mobile devices as a way to capture more of the local advertising market. Google shares were up 0.5% to $537 at midday Thursday. --Written by Scott Moritz in New York.
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