Monday, 10 June 2013

Google Reportedly Finalising Talks To Buy Waze For $1.3 Billion

File:Waze logo.png
After rejecting advances from Apple and Facebook, Israeli traffic monitoring and navigation company Waze is reportedly in the final stages of a $1.3 billion deal with Google, who are looking to consolidate their position as king of the app mapping systems.

A number of conflicting reports have been published over the last few months: at first it was believed that Apple were the frontrunners in the pursuit of Waze, but after the company’s mapping software was so poorly received, the rumours died down. Facebook then emerged as favourites, supposedly offering Waze’s founders $1 billion, double what Apple had offered the company, for the rights to the navigation software.

The talks, however, were unsuccessful, especially after Google reportedly swooped in and offered Waze a deal they couldn’t refuse: $1.3 billion in cash upfront, as well as the agreement that Waze would remain a separate brand, Noam Bardin would continue on as CEO and the company’s offices would stay in Israel for at least 3 years – there has been some suggestion that Waze and Facebook’s negotiations broke down because Facebook wanted to move Waze’s offices to the States. The article by Israel-based publication “Globes”, who first reported the story, has been corroborated by a number of Israeli sources.

Waze is an optimal route navigation app, which tracks traffic congestion and road blocks using social updates: Waze’s users, or “Wazers”, share real-time traffic information and road alerts with each other. This information is then visualised on Waze’s road map, with other users and points of interest marked. To create the map, Waze gathers GPS data from Wazers, informing others of slow routes and traffic. Wazers can also mark road blocks or mobile speed cameras on the map hands-free.

Waze and Google could be a match made in heaven for people sick of cluttered roads on their commute: Google’s almost faultless mapping technology, when combined with Waze’s social navigation data, will almost certainly make negotiating traffic far easier.

Do you think Waze will improve Google maps? Do you use Waze already? Is it good? Will you use it if Google acquires it?       


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