Regardless of whether you’ve actually used Zagat’s website or service or not, you’ve definitely seen the signs and stickers if you’ve been to a restaurant in most major US cities. Prior to Yelp, Google Places and other insta-reviews, Zagat was the crem de la crem of ratings for restaurants. If you can remember back to the show “The Restaurant” even before Gordon Ramsey was a household name, they emphasized how important a Zagat rating is.
Nibble on after the break
Fast forward to last week, Google announced that they had acquired Zagat for $125 million dollars. Now there is a little law on the federal books references to as Hart-Scott-Rodino which calls for any business purchasing business transaction of over $66 million dollars requiring a federal anti-trust review. In the Google/Zagat case $125 million dollars would have required a review… not so fast though.
As Greg Sterling, owner of the Screenwerk website, points out, Google may have flown under the federal radar by paying Zagat co-founders, Tim and Nina Zagat, back owed overtime. In the deal with Google both Zagats are staying on board as co-charis for the Google owned Zagat. Google has felt the noble obligation of paying the Zagat’s $59 million dollars in back overtime for which the Zagats didn’t compensate themselves for before selling the business.
In a nutshell, since Google is paying back pay and not actually attributing that portion of the deal toward price of the company, no anti-trust review was necessary. If you want to see it explained a little more in depth visit Sterling’s site here