Google has bought all the travel assets of the Frommer’s guide book brand from publisher John Wiley and Sons. It follows the acquisition of restaurant reviewer Zagat last year. The deal had an immediate negative impact on the stock price of user review sites TripAdvisor and Yelp, event though Frommer’s is not a direct competitor. No financial terms were disclosed.
In the short term its believed Google plans to incorporate Frommer’s reviews into its “Local” offerings at the Google+ social network. Longer term, the Frommer’s content will no doubt appear throughout the Google network, especially on desintation search results.
And there’s no doubt the content will be free, as was the case with Zagat. Clearly, the paid guide book model is on its last legs. Witness the slow, sad decline of Lonely Planet, now owned by BBC Worldwide.