Marisa Mayer just made the announcement:

So, today, I’m thrilled that Google has acquired Zagat. Moving forward, Zagat will be a cornerstone of our local offering—delighting people with their impressive array of reviews, ratings and insights, while enabling people everywhere to find extraordinary (and ordinary) experiences around the corner and around the world.

That is an interesting play which I’m pretty sure no one was expecting.  It gives Google a huge foothold in local and will certainly put Yelp, Open Table and company on the defensive and will also fit in nicely with its Offers service.  Zagat’s statement below the fold:

ZAGAT GOT GOOGLED

This may be the most important announcement in our 32 years of business: We have been acquired by another great company, Google. Nina and I will continue to be active in the business as co-Chairs; however, the merger of our resources, expertise and platforms with those of Google will give us the opportunity to greatly expand. We have spent enough time with Google senior management to know that they fully share our belief in user-generated content, and our commitment to accuracy and fairness in providing consumers with the information necessary to make smart decisions about where to eat, travel and shop.

From its beginning, Zagat Survey has empowered consumers by giving them a vehicle to express their opinions. Today Zagat offers its succinct, curated, survey-based ratings and reviews in print, online and on virtually every mobile platform. Covering countries around the globe, Zagat has come to be a symbol of quality.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the active participation of hundreds of thousands of knowledgeable consumers. Their experiences, expertly distilled into numerical ratings and concise, witty, quote-filled reviews, provide accurate guidance for a wide range of leisure activities. We are particularly proud of the myriad corporate customers who have used our content in their marketing activities over the years.

All of the above achievements have depended on the hard work of our dedicated staff. We believe that this merger will be not only in their best interests, but also in the interests of our customers thanks to the vast additional resources and reach that Google will bring to our company. Google is the first place everyone goes when looking for information; it’s the perfect home for our content.

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.

Nina and Tim Zagat

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