Meet Google's Next $1B Buy

Waze buy thwarts rivals, might raise anti-trust concerns
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2013 7:39 AM CDT
Ben Gleitzman waves his hand over a traffic and navigation app called Waze on his Apple iPhone in a Menlo Park, Calif., parking lot during a demonstration, March 15, 2012 photo.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

(Newser) – Google is close to finalizing one of the biggest acquisitions in its history, with a more than $1 billion deal for the maps and traffic app Waze, the Wall Street Journal reports. Here's what makes the move interesting:

  • Google already has a maps app. You might have heard of it. And that might make anti-trust regulators raise an eyebrow. Google Maps and Waze may remain separate apps, one source says, but they'll share key data. Which means...

  • Google Maps is about to get better. Waze's key competency is traffic data, drawing on users' GPS data to learn about its flow.
  • Apple, Facebook out in the cold. Both the rival tech giants have at some point been rumored to acquire the Israeli startup. Microsoft, meanwhile, is an investor in Waze.
  • It's a lot of money. The buy would be Google's fourth-largest ever, behind only Motorola, YouTube, and DoubleClick.

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