Google buys worldwide restaurant guide Zagat, spicing up its local appeal

There's no stopping the search giant, as it dips its toe into the restaurant business - and the places we like to eat in best of all.

Google buys Zagat

The price was not disclosed, by the New York Times, which reported the deal. Tim and Nina Zagat, the husband and wife behind the company are to remain involved in the business as co-chairs.

Zagat has grown from a two-page typed list to a global empire with millions of loyal readers and reviewers happy to rave about their favorite restaurants and bars, said the Times.

The company , known for its 30-point scale, has however faced challenges recently from Internet-based competitors. Zagat in turn has partnered with online players, including Facebook, Foursquare - and Google.

Three years ago, Zagat put itself up for sale but that effort faltered after six months.

Marissa Mayer, Google’s top executive for local and location services, wrote in a blog that Zagat would become the "cornerstone for the search giant’s local offerings.

“Their iconic pocket-sized guides with paragraphs summarising and ’snippeting’ sentiment were ‘mobile’ before ‘mobile’ involved electronics,” she wrote.

On Twitter she said in rhyme:

Delightful deal done

Zagat and Google now one

Foodies have more fun!

The Zagats wrote in a letter on their company website, “We couldn’t be happier to see our baby placed into such good hands and are looking forward to being Googlers in the years ahead.”

More cheekily, said the Times, Zagat scored the deal a perfect 30 on its Web site.

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