Google buys Zagat to vie with OpenTable, Yelp
Zagat Survey co-founders Tim (L) and Nina Zagat pose with the latest version of their guide to Tokyo restaurants at a news conference in Tokyo December 19, 2007. REUTERS

Google learned that to wine and dine Zagat isn't cheap. The Internet search giant had to come out of pocket $125 million in order to successfully acquire the restaurant-review company.

Google said released information about its acquisition on Thursday through its company blog. However, it say how much was the purchase price.

But an inside source told The Wall Street Journal last week that for Google to wine and dine the company cost them $125 million. About three years ago, Zagat put itself out there for anyone who wanted a taste at an estimated value at $200 million. But there was no bite. Google eventually sampled Zagat and like what they had and made an offer close to the asking price.

Marissa Mayer, who serves as Google's vice president of location and local services, wrote in a recent blog that with Zagat, Google gained a world-class team that has more experience in consumer based-surveys, recommendations and reviews than anyone else in the industry.

She also noted that Zagat's surveys may be one of the earliest forms of user-generated content - gathering restaurant recommendations from friends, computing and distributing ratings before the Internet as we know it today even existed.

Today, Zagat provides people with a democratized, authentic and comprehensive view of where to eat, drink, stay, shop and play worldwide based on millions of reviews and ratings, Mayer wrote. For all of these reasons, I'm incredibly excited to collaborate with Zagat to bring the power of Google search and Google Maps to their products and users, and to bring their innovation, trusted reputation and wealth of experience to our users.

Tim and Nina Zagat founded their company more than 32 years ago. It has now grown to be a trusted brand over the world. Zagat operates in 13 categories and more than 100 cities.

The Zagats said they will remain as co-chairs in the business, helping to ensure that the combination of Zagat's and Google's assets and capabilities will maximize our product quality and growth.

The Zagat purchase now puts Google in the position to compete with the likes of Yelp and OpenTable.