Arthur Frommer Buys Frommer’s Brand Back From Google

Posted Apr 4, 2013

Google acquired the Frommer’s from Wiley and Sons in August 2012 for a reported $23 million.  Around 8 months later, Google decided to sell the brand back to the founder of the company, Arthur Frommer.  Google did not provide a reason for why they sold it back, but did say the content from Frommers has been integrated into Google+ Local and other Google services.  Google will also license travel content from Frommer’s.

“Starting this autumn, we plan to publish some 40 titles, 20 of which will be available digitally and in print, and the other half available only in print,” said Arthur Frommer in an interview. “All will contain the judgments and recommendations of some of the best travel writers in the world.”

Arthur Frommer founded the Frommer’s guidebook series of books in 1957 with one of the first publications called “Europe on $5 a Day.”  He will also operate the Frommer’s website, which has a travel blog.  Arthur Frommer will be joined by his daughter Pauline Frommer.  Pauline edited a series of guidebooks for John Wiley & Sons Inc. before this news.

Ever since travel and review websites like TripAdvisor and Yelp grew in popularity, sales of travel guide books have been hurt badly.  For example, BBC sold the Lonely Planet travel guides division to NC2Media for 60% less than the total purchase price.

However Arthur Frommer believes that there is still a significant market for travel guides online and offline.  Frommer’s takes price in their experienced writers and travel experts.

When Google acquired Frommer’s, they planned to integrate it with Zagat.  Google bought Zagat in 2011 to integrate posts about restaurants and other businesses into Google’s local search.