Google Announces Surprise Acquisition of Zagat

Internet search giant Google has gobbled up a company that helps millions of people figure ou where they’re going to gobble up their next meal.

On Thursday, Google announced its purchase of Zagat, the restaurant recommendations and ratings authority.

Google’s goal through its latest acquisition, ostensibly, is to expand its local content in the niche marketplace that includes Yelp and Yahoo, CNBC reports.

“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,” says Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice president of local, maps and location services.

Google said the 32-year-old Zagat, which polls consumers and compiles reviews on restaurants around the world, will become a cornerstone of its “local offering” and work in tandem with its mapping services and core search engine.

Following the official word of Google’s purchase, shares of OpenTable – a primary Zagat competitor – tanked on Wall Street.

“We are thrilled to see our baby placed in such good hands and to start today as official ‘Googlers,”‘ the Tim and Nina Zagat said in a joint statement.