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Google unloads Frommer's guides after less than a year

The Google signage is seen at the company's headquarters in New York January 8, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
The Google signage is seen at the company's headquarters in New York January 8, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc has sold the Frommers' line of travel-guidebooks, acquired just eight months ago from John Wiley & Sons Inc to strengthen its trove of local content and reviews, to founder Arthur Frommer.

Google had intended to use the popular brand to beef up its own local content, listings and reviews, executives said at the time. To that end, it has spent the past few months integrating Frommer's travel content into Google+, its social network, and other services, a company spokesperson said.

The Internet search leader will also license "certain travel content" to Frommer's founder, the spokesperson added without elaborating. No financial terms were disclosed.

With the return to its founder, Frommer's has come full-circle after a 55-year journey that began in the early years of commercial air travel.

In 1957, Arthur Frommer, a former U.S. soldier, released his European sightseeing book, entitled "Europe on 5 Dollars a Day", after fellow GIs snatched up a similar guide that Frommer had distributed while he was stationed in Germany.

Written in a breezy style and appealing to the budget-conscious, the slim book encouraged Americans across a broader economic spectrum to venture overseas in the flush postwar era.

(Reporting by Edwin Chan; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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