In a bid to improve its growing selection of local reviews, Google is buying the Frommer's travel guide brand from publishers John Wiley & Sons for an undisclosed amount.
The deal hasn't been finalized quite yet, but it should be going through any time now. At the moment, Google hasn't made a decision as to whether Frommer's guides will continue to be made available in print or whether they'll migrate to a purely online existence. It's also possible that Google might merge the brand into Zagat, which it purchased last year.
Zagat's managing director of product management, Bernardo Hernandez, described the plans for the future this way in an interview:
"Our commitment is to keep things as they are today and once we combine operations, we'll know better what the future looks like. ...Consumers need fresh accurate information. 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."
Wiley's been trying to sell the Frommer's brand since March of this year because it no longer fits with the publisher's long-term strategies. Apparently it fits with Google's. [WSJ]