JPMorgan Boosts Dining Investment With Acquisition of Zagat Owner

JPMorgan Acquires Zagat Owner The Infatuation

J.P. Morgan Chase will be buying The Infatuation, the owner of restaurant review guide Zagat, the Financial Times (FT) reported. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Infatuation has ballooned in recent years into an empire, far from its status in the past as a primarily New York-focused blog, the report stated.

After the deal is complete, J.P. Morgan Chase will probably integrate The Infatuation’s media content into the existing products it has which work with restaurants, according to the report. For example, Chase launched a dining hub that gives access to thousands of restaurants in partnership with the reservation platform Tock.

The company said in a statement that the new deal “aims to accelerate the firm’s investment in dining, and further demonstrates J.P. Morgan Chase’s commitment to meeting customers where they are with exceptional benefits, useful content and one-of-a-kind experiences, at scale.”

Banks have been competing for the rising credit card spending that happened earlier this year as pandemic-related restrictions began to ease. Hospitality businesses, meanwhile, have been seeing lessening revenues for the past year and a half due to COVID-19, the report stated.

J.P. Morgan’s move might be able to build up more confidence in the company, as perks such as cash back, airline miles and loyalty gain in cost for banks, according to the report. Rewards rates were at a record high last year, with lenders trying to get consumers to spend more on credit cards as pandemic stimulus programs had effects on loan demands.

Analysts have said this could have backfired, though because the cost of rewards are now high enough that they might usurp how much the lenders earn on interchange fees for basic cards, the report stated.

In other J.P. Morgan acquisition news, the bank recently bought 75% of the payments unit for Volkswagen, which came ahead of the car manufacturer’s launch of in-car tech for payments.

Read more: JPMorgan Acquires 75% of Volkswagen’s Payments Unit