Millennium Post

Google buys travel assets of US publisher

US publishing house John Wiley & Sons said on Tuesday it is selling all of its travel assets – including the well-known Frommer's brand – to Internet titan Google. The New Jersey-based company did not specify the financial terms of the deal, which it said was inked  on Friday.

‘Wiley entered into a definitive agreement to sell all of its travel assets, including all of its interests in the Frommer's brand, to Google,’ it said in a statement.

Google planned to add Frommer's travel expertise to its ‘Local’ offerings at the Google+ social network, where users can search for specific places or browse for nearby businesses or services.
‘The Frommer's team and the quality and scope of their content will be a great addition to the Zagat team,’ a Google spokeswoman said. ‘We can't wait to start working with them on our goal to provide a review for every relevant place in the world.’

Google added the Zagat restaurant review content to its Google+ social network in May, as it rolled out a new local search feature that takes on services such as Yelp. The Internet giant has been ramping up services that help people merge their online and offline worlds, particularly with the help of smartphones or tablets, by using Internet resources to connect with real-world places, offers or events.

Google bought the popular Zagat review operations last year for a reported $125 million and then made content free.

US online travel sales are expected to reach $119.2 billion this year, up from $107.4 billion in 2011, according to industry tracker eMarketer. By 2016, travel sales booked online will reach $151.9 billion, eMarketer predicted. Wiley announced in March that it planned to sell consumer print and digital assets including travel, cooking, pets, crafts, Webster's and CliffsNotes because they ‘no longer align with the company's long-term business strategy.’
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