Google has bought the travel brand Frommer's from John Wiley & Son, in a move that sees the internet company bolster its content businesses. Google already owns the restaurant guide Zagat, and recently integrated its reviews into its Google + Local service.
Neither John Wiley nor Google has indicated what the latter paid for the travel assets. Wiley said in March that it planned to explore opportunities to sell the print and digital publishing assets that no longer fitted into its longer-term its longer-term business strategy, including its travel, culinary, general interest, nautical, pets, crafts, Webster’s New World, and CliffsNotes divisions.
Wiley said: “Proceeds from this sale, and others that may arise from the sale of other consumer assets, will be redeployed to support growth opportunities in Professional/Trade, Scientific, Technical, Medical, and Scholarly; and Global Education businesses.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that Google bought Wiley’s travel publishing products in order to “bolster its offerings of local reviews around the world.“ The WSJ added that Google hadn’t yet decided whether the Frommer's guidebooks would continue to be published in print or go completely online.
In March, Wiley’s US-based president and c.e.o. Stephen M Smith said: "We plan to drive long-term growth, accelerate our digital transformation, and optimise our return on investment by investing in content and services that provide our customers in research, learning and professional practice with knowledge resources that help them to realise their professional and personal goals.”
Wiley acquired Frommer's in 2001. But the travel brand dates its origins back to 1957, when Arthur Frommer wrote a travel guide for American GIs in Europe. He later published a range of travel books, before selling the brand to Simon & Schuster. It has since been owned by Pearson, IDG Books, and then Wiley. Arthur Frommer continues to write a blog on the Frommer's website, and told Skift: "The energy, resources, and talent of the Google team will allow the Frommer's brand to reach new levels of popularity."