It's official: Google confirms acquisition of Waze

By on June 11, 2013, 10:48 AM
google, facebook, gps, acquisition, navigation, waze

Update: Google has now officially confirmed the acquisition of Waze. Original story follows...

Following weeks of speculation, it would appear that Google has plans to purchase Waze after all, a service that makes use of information from people’s smartphones to develop real-time traffic data. The search giant will reportedly acquire the Israeli-based company for $1.3 billion, providing it with a valuable asset that should help them to keep competitors Apple and Facebook at bay.

This is not the first time a Waze buyout has been proposed. Last May, Forbes wrote that Facebook was interested in purchasing Waze to the tune of $1 billion. Sales talks continued up until just a few weeks ago, where disagreements over the location of the company’s headquarters caused the deal to fold. The big problem was that Waze wanted to stay in Israel, while Facebook insisted on relocating the company to California.

In hopes of appeasing Waze’s CEO, Noam Bardin, Google has promised to keep the corporation in Israel for a minimum of three years. Over this time span, Waze will also remain an independent company and its brand image will stay separate from that of Google.

That being said, analysts speculate that Google will start to integrate Waze’s navigation service into their own product offerings following the 2016 deadline.

So why the sudden interest in Waze? Not only does Google want to add one of the premier navigation services to their fleet, but they want to prevent Facebook from becoming a serious threat.

Ha’aretz, an Israeli news source, added, “Google’s interest in Waze stems principally from its aim of blocking Facebook growth. The search company operates its own navigation service that competes head on with Waze. It has invested heavily in its system, including the ambitious Google Street View database of images and satellite images.”

User Comments: 6

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JC713 JC713 said:

A bit too much. But it is better than Facebook purchasing it. There is basically no competition for Google maps now.

Guest said:

Way too much .. BAD MOVE

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

This looks like a good move on Google's part.

Guest said:

I just wonder when there's gonna be only few tech companies competing... 2020 ? This will end up bad for everybody.

lipe123 said:

Uhm you do realize that companies like navngo, tomtom, garmin etc has domintaed the gps market for MANY years and still own a enormous chunk. None of that stopped waze from taking a big bite from literally nowhere.

Nothing is stopping the little guys from taking over if they compete with quality that's better than than the nonsense the lazy big players come up with.

Google maps is already bigger than any other map program out there so this acquisition doesn't really make any difference.

JC713 JC713 said:

Better than FB. Too bad they overpaid.

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