Google buys restaurant recommendation firm

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Google acquired personalized recommendation company Clever Sense, the company said on Dec. 13. A Google spokesperson declined to disclose terms of the acquisition.

The Clever Sense team will join Google's local group, the spokesperson said via email. Google has been beefing up its local offering in recent months, particularly through the September acquisition of restaurant review service Zagat.

Clever Sense specializes in analyzing data to serve personalized dining and nightlife recommendations for consumers via its mobile app, which is called "Alfred." 

"The Clever Sense team is at the forefront of developing a recommendation engine that connects the online and offline worlds by delivering personal and sophisticated information to users at the right time, the right place and within the right context," Google's spokesperson said. "By combining their technology and expertise with our team and products, we'll be able to provide even more people with intelligent, personalized recommendations for places to eat, visit and discover."

News of the acquisition may be a blow to Groupon, which Google reportedly tried to acquire in late 2010. Last week TechCrunch reported that the daily deals company was close to acquiring Clever Sense.

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