Summary Box: Google dishes up free Zagat ratings

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FREE INSIGHTS: Google is dropping the online fees charged by Zagat’s popular service for rating restaurants in more than 100 cities throughout the world. The changes announced Wednesday came as part an expansion of the local business listings in Google’s search results.

OLD PRICES: Zagat charged $5 monthly or $25 annually for online access. The fees were imposed to protect sales of the burgundy-colored guides Zagat has been putting out since its inception in 1979. Those guides will still be published.

THE IMPETUS: Google Inc. bought Zagat for $151 million last September to compete against Yelp Inc.’s online rating service.

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