Is Google Going ‘Too Old-School’ in Print & Publishing Acquisitions?

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First it was the purchase of Zagat.  Now from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (NYSE: JW-A), Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) is buying up the assets of a number of its consumer print and digital publishing assets in its Professional/Trade business.  Zagat was acquired by Google in September, 2011 and now the search giant is acquiring assets and brands such as the well-known Frommer’s travel guides.

It was back on March 7 of 2012 that Wiley said that it would explore opportunities to sell a number of its consumer print and digital publishing assets in its Professional/Trade business.  The explanation was that they no longer fit in with Wiley’s long-term business strategy. Those assets included travel with Frommer’s, culinary, general interest, nautical, pets, crafts, Webster’s New World, and CliffsNotes.

Wiley has now entered into a definitive agreement to sell all of its travel assets and all of its interests in the Frommer’s brand to Google.

This may seem of little surprise.  Google also recently acquired IATA, which is the International Air Transport Association. The question now boils down to whether or not Google will keep printing the books or whether it will try to go just online.  Also, will it make the books available for free online like it tries to do with every other book that it is allowed to.

JON C. OGG

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