Report: Google Has Held 'Informal Talks' Over Zagat Sale

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Google is reportedly on the lookout for a buyer for Zagat, according to a new report out of Reuters, which in turn credits “people familiar with the matter” with the details. Speaking of those details, beyond the suggestion that Google is looking for a buyer, very little firm information has been provided.

According to the report, Google has already engaged in “informal talks” with a number of different companies regarding the possible sale of Zagat. Although none of those talks are believed to have made it any further at the moment. Likewise, there are no details on who any of those companies are, how much Google is looking for, or for that matter, how intent the company is on actually selling Zagat in the first place. With the suggestion being that Google is not necessarily set on selling Zagat, but is open to the idea and/or offers. Google originally purchased Zagat back in 2011 and at a cost then of $151 million. Since then, while the service has not quite had the marketing push or media attention that other Google-related services have had, Google has been looking at ways in which it can better incorporate Zagat’s offerings with its other services. With integration with Google Maps and Search being two such examples, as well as the release of a dedicated Android app.

One suggestion for why Google might be looking to sell off Zagat is how this could be one of the ways in which Google is looking to streamline its operations going forward. It is well-known that Google, and its holding company, Alphabet, is in control of multiple different companies, occupying various positions, within multiple different sectors, and the report highlights how Zagat is fairly low down in the pecking order and currently only managed by “a small team.” Therefore, while the cost of maintenance is likely to be low, and certainly compared to some of Alphabet’s “Other Bets,” it may be the case that if someone is interested in Zagat, Google would be willing to let go of the company. For those new to Zagat, this is a food-focused service which looks to provide users with data and reviews provided by other users mixed with insight from its own staff. Speaking of which, the company did recently take a look back at the top food trends of 2017.