Google has purchased Frommer’s, the travel guide brand started by writer Arthur Frommer back in 1957, from its parent publishing company Wiley, both Google and Wiley confirmed on Monday.

Aside from a great global brand name and some 300 travel guide titles to cities and places around the globe, the deal gives Google more ammunition in its quest to turn its now year-old social network, Google Plus, into the premiere resource for users to find all types of local businesses, landmarks and deals.
Google, after all,purchased the famed restaurant and business rating company Zagat in September 2011 for the sum of $151 million, then launched a new section of Google Plus, “Local,” in May 2012 using Zagat’s rating 30-point rating system.

On Monday, Google said it would be combining the newly acquired Frommer’s brand with Zagat, and presumably, Google Plus as well. The information came on the heels of an article in The Wall Street Journal which first reported on the deal.

As a Google spokesperson told TPM:

“The Frommer’s team and the quality and scope of their content will be a great addition to the Zagat team. We can’t wait to start working with them on our goal to provide a review for every relevant place in the world.”

Another good fit for Frommer’s guide book information would be to augment Google’s “Knowledge Graph” — a massive online database of subjects from sources like Wikipedia that now appear in Google search results, giving users immediate, brief summaries of text and photos relating to their search queries.

As for Frommer’s previous parent company, New Jersey-based Wiley, a spokesperson defended the decision to sell off the brand in a phone conversation with TPM.

“Finding a good home for this valuable asset [Frommer’s] was important to us,” Wiley spokesperson Susan Spilka told TPM. “We think Google is a company that can provide the focus needed to achieve [Frommer’s] full strategic potential.”

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