Google to beat Facebook in a Waze auction

June 10, 2013 8:29 am

Google is very close to acquire the navigation and traffic application Waze for $1.3 billion said a person familiar with the negotiation talk to The Wall Street Journal. Facebook was supposed to pay $1 billion to buy the Israeli company that uses satellite signals to generate maps and traffic data from members’ smartphones. The deal never happened  as Facebook said it would move the company out of Israel to California and the app company insisted to stay in their home country.

The deal would be Google’s fourth largest by price this year and it’s expected to be announced this week. The app company Waze which is freely available for Apple users as for Google’s Android devices stated it will continue to assist more than 45 million of their users and give  everybody the best route to their workplace, according to Waze’s website.

People familiar with Waze’s product technology in detail, commented for the Wall Street Journal that the app could be integrated in Google maps and likewise Google maps could be integrated in Waze’s product. However, some analyst consider the first is more likely to happen and after 2-3 years Google would have the technology fully integrated.

Mapping services are among the most used applications for mobile devices and are of a high importance to retaining mobile users. Google is hoping to boost its ability to personalize maps to its Google+ social networking service. Waze could contribute to the tech giant cause with adding more than 45 million existing users.

Microsoft confirmed a stake in Waze. The software giant also offers mapping on PC and windows phone using Bing search service. Nokia offers a similar service called Here Maps on Nokia mobile phones.

Google has been aggressive on acquiring companies recent years among the largest purchases were YouTube and Double Click both around the cost of $5 billion.

Google’s share price climbed by 1.74% on Friday pilling on a total of 21.64% year to date increase making it one of the US tech sector biggest gainers for the year.

 

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