Google has just announced the purchase of Zagat, the longtime publisher of restaurant ratings, bringing the search giant into the food sector and threatening nascent rival Yelp.
So, today, I'm thrilled that Google has acquired Zagat. Moving forward, Zagat will be a cornerstone of our local offering--delighting people with their impressive array of reviews, ratings and insights, while enabling people everywhere to find extraordinary (and ordinary) experiences around the corner and around the world.Which company is most threatened by this deal? Yelp should definitely look over its shoulder, as should Groupon, as well as anybody else in the local restaurant advertising sector.
The Google announcement continues:
With Zagat, we gain a world-class team that has more experience in consumer based-surveys, recommendations and reviews than anyone else in the industry.Back in 2009, Google offered to acquire Yelp for $500 million, and Yelp walked away. The two company has since skirmished over the extent Google borrowed from Yelp's listings to build out Google Places. The purchase of Zagat obviously solves Google's problem, giving it a massive database of trusted restaurant reviews. The same cannot be said of Yelp's spammy, user-generated content.