Google buys Frommers

From the Wall Street Journal

Google Inc. GOOG +2.00% is acquiring the Frommer's travel brand from publicly tradedJohn Wiley & Sons Inc. JWB -0.57% for an undisclosed price in order to bolster its offerings of local reviews around the world.

In Frommer's, Google sees an opportunity to broaden its consumer offerings outside of restaurant reviews. That Frommer's provides information about hotels and destinations globally made the acquisition that much more attractive.

The publishing house Wiley in March said it intended to sell Frommer's, because it no longer aligned with its long term strategies. A spokeswoman for Wiley on Monday confirmed the sale."Our commitment is to keep things as they are today and once we combine operations, we'll know better what the future looks like," said Bernardo Hernandez, Zagat's managing director of product management, in an interview.

Google acquired restaurant-review company Zagat Survey LLC in September 2011 at a time when Google wanted to gain more share in local-business ads. Google is battling such rivals as Facebook Inc. FB -0.54% to capture consumers as they browse the Web looking for recommendations and other information.

."Consumers need fresh accurate information," said Mr. Hernandez. "When you add information you can trust to phone numbers and addresses as part of the Google search experience, it enables users to convert their intentions into actions."

Frommer's today offers a wide variety of guidebooks for global destinations plus an extensive Web site that offers travel booking services in addition to trip ideas and travel-related information. Frommer's also has an array of branded mobile apps across an array of platforms.

Frommer's dates back to 1957, when Arthur Frommer, founder of the Frommer's series, with a book that offered travel advice to Americans visiting Europe for those able to spend $5 a day. Wiley acquired the Frommer's brand in 2001.

Write to Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg at