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Google Reportedly Finishing $1.1 Billion Deal to Acquire Waze

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According to a report from Bloomberg, Google is set to purchase social mapping company Waze for $1.1 billion, with the announcement set possibly for tomorrow:

Google Inc. has agreed to acquire map-software provider Waze Inc. for about $1.1 billion, a person with knowledge of the deal said, seeking to keep competitors such as Facebook Inc. (FB) from eroding its lead in mobile-navigation programs.

The deal for Waze, based in Palo Alto, California, may be announced as early as tomorrow, said the person, who asked not to be named because the plans are private.

Earlier today, Israeli publication Globes noted a Google-Waze deal was imminent, but rather for a sum of $1.3 billion. Essentially the deal to purchase Waze would allow Google to ward off a competitor for its own maps service and inhibit Facebook from starting its own service; the latter reportedly put in an offer for Waze back in May for almost $1 billion.

Although Apple was also cited to be in talks to acquire Waze, CEO Tim Cook squashed the rumour at D:11 and stated the company did not bid for the social mapping company.

Google Maps is light years ahead of any other mapping service and iOS users found this out when Apple introduced its own Maps app with iOS 6 that paled in comparison to Google’s offering. Although Apple Maps does work better in some areas than most, it is unable to offer a consistent service to all of its users. If and when the deal goes through, let’s hope Google doesn’t ruin Waze.

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  • 1His_Nibs1

    That’s a nice poke in the eye to Apple lol. If Waze was for sale Apple should have seriously looked into acquiring it as they need all the help they can get with regards to their maps app. Now, a competitior, who doesn’t even need to acquire it because their maps app is so much more superior to anyone else’s has taken one more option away from Apple.

  • Al

    A recent informal test was done by 3 tech media people to get to a location, each using different map guidance apps (Waze, Apple and Google). The person using Waze came last (WAY last) and got directed to bizarre route points. From that, and my own experience with directions and traffic reports, Waze is over-rated. I no longer use it.

  • Waze is useful for crowdsourced data in situations such as the tornados in Oklahoma, where the app helped a lot of people.

  • matt

    i dont mean to be rude to anyone but im getting sick and tired of people saying “this” is better then “that”(ex: android is better then apple/apple is better then android, ps3 is better then xbox/xbox is better then ps3). the arguments just dont make sense to me.

    bottom line: what im trying to say is that in this scenario, every app has its pros and cons. one isnt better then the other.

    sorry haha just had to rant a little bit, ive just seen way too many of these arguments.

  • Al

    Of course one thing can be better than another. But you have to look at it logically – not emotionally.

  • Al

    That sort of information is readily available from other sources. And Waze had to step in as well to modify the maps. Very nice – but an exceedingly rare circumstance. In the everyday world, the concept of Waze (social driving) is silly, not to mention dangerous.

  • It really comes down to the users, I think for the most part ‘Wazers’ are out to help each other’s commutes, not play pranks or ruin the service by any means. Google sees Waze as a threat, hence they are nabbing them up.

  • Al

    I wasn’t suggesting any shenanigans by users. It is illegal to use as per its intended design. And there is very good reason for that.

    With some very sophisticated voice recognition and software AI, combined with in-car integration, it MAY one day be practical and safe. For example, you’re driving by a blocked street, you already passed it when you say, “street on left is blocked” … and the software will figure out what street you are talking about, even though you’ve already passed the street, because of your proximity and direction. Or you just make an unscheduled turn while on route and say, “route blocked” … This way, it knows where the block starts. With other reports, it could then determine the two end points of the blocked road. At present, it doesn’t do that. It only pretends to, and even then, if you have someone else in the car who even bothers to open the app on their own phone and manually enter a name of a blocked street – which will pretty much never happen. Like I said… this app is silly.

    Google could very well have plans to take the app to a more realistic level.

  • Shorty_dammit

    Waze works great for me, and has for years. This includes driving in British Columbia, Washington state, Oregon, and California. Maps *do* need to be edited to match real-world turn restrictions in order to function optimally, though. If you don’t have people that have edited the map in your area, and it relies solely on automatic turn restriction detection, it can indeed be a bit painful for a while. But it learns quickly enough. I never drive anywhere without it on. Saves me tons of time every single day.

  • WallsOfJericho316

    Agreed. The best is getting better, and leaving everyone else in their dust.

  • Al

    A segment from Waze terms of service…

    Cautious driving. Always drive vigilantly according to road conditions and in accordance with traffic laws. It is strictly forbidden to send traffic updates (such as updates on road accidents and traffic congestion), while driving. Such updates may only be sent after you have stopped your vehicle in an appropriate location permitted by law. Alternatively, such updates may be sent by a passenger other than the driver, provided it does not interfere with the due course of driving and does not distract the driver’s attention to the road.

    In other words, totally impractical in common real world scenarios.

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