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Google kept all the social data when it sold travel guide Frommer’s

Frommer's

This is interesting. When Google sold travel guide Frommer’s earlier this month, people were left scratching their heads. After all it had only bought it nine months previously for US$22-million. The answer, it turns out, lies in social media.

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According to Skift, the internet giant handed back the naming rights to founder Arthur Frommer sans all the social media accounts.

That means that Google now owns all the Twitter, Facebook, FourSquare, Google+, YouTube and Pinterest followers Frommer’s managed to accrue. As PaidContent points out, it didn’t matter that Google no longer has the rights to use the Frommer’s name, because it was able to simply change the names of the various accounts.

The Google-owned Frommer’s account, for instance, is now Zagat travel.

The suspicion therefore is that Google only made the initial acquisition for the social accounts and to provide a boost to its ongoing efforts in the travel space. Consolidating them all under the Zagat name also makes sense. Its one of the most trusted names in consumer reviews and was a massive buy for Google in 2011. Arthur Frommer apparently intends to re-launch the brand’s print editions.

When asked about the social media accounts and the price paid of the sale, Google sent the following response to Paidcontent:

We’re focused on providing high-quality local information to help people quickly discover and share great places, like a nearby restaurant or the perfect vacation destination. That’s why we’ve spent the last several months integrating the travel content we acquired from Wiley into Google+ Local and our other Google services. We can confirm that we have returned the Frommer’s brand to its founder and are licensing certain travel content to him.

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