The potential sale was first reported by Reuters earlier this year. Google bought the Zagat brand and all of its content in 2011 for roughly $151 million in the wake of an unsuccessful effort to acquire Yelp.
Google needed the content at the time to compete with Yelp, TripAdvisor and others that had more reviews and user-generated content. However, Google now has a substantial and growing body of reviews, created in part by its army of more than 50 million Local Guides around the world.
Google simply no longer needs Zagat as it once did.
The Infatuation has been around for nine years, according to The New York Times’ report. I’d never heard of it until this morning. However, the site claims to be profitable.
The Zagat brand is both a blessing and a curse for The Infatuation. It will need to figure out which brand to emphasize and to which audience. The Times says, “The company intends to keep Zagat as a separate brand, using it as a user-generated-content counterpart to The Infatuation.”
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