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Google interested in acquiring Waze, could launch bidding war with Facebook

waze-icon

With word surfacing that Facebook is in talks to acquire Waze, the social map and navigation outfit, for around $1 billion, sources now say Google has tossed their hat in the ring. No stranger to acquiring startups, the move is not surprising. The addition of Waze to Google’s portfolio would also keep the company out of the hands of competitors.

There is no guarantee that any company will walk away with Waze under their wing, however. While the most serious talks have taken place with Facebook, Google and other parties have expressed interest. Waze, however, is asking for over $1 billion and could choose to remain independent and seek further venture funding to improve its mapping service. As of now, those close to the matter say that a deal with any particular company is not close.

As for others besides Google and Facebook that could be interested? Apple is said to not be in the mix, nor is Microsoft — though the maker of Windows has funded the project in the past.

[via Bloomberg]




  • KOLIO

    I think all four companies mentioned are interested,if only to keep the others from having it.

  • Dan Fryling

    Google needs to be the winner and incorporate waze into maps that would make for the ultimate mapping and navigation experience

    • TheScientists

      I would really like to see Goog incorporate Waze’s user incident reporting feature into Google Nav. That’s something that Nav is sorely missing.

  • NYCHitman1

    I’m still trying to figure out what Facebook even wants with Waze.

    • TheScientists

      Waze is a ‘social’ GPS nav app. Makes perfect sense that The Social Network would want to acquire it. I can imagine all kinds of uses given that FB would know where you are, where you’re traveling, your destination, broadcasting your location to your fb ‘friends’ and vice-versa, etc….lots of data to be had.

      • Adnoxaei

        I imagine it as something like this for a social mapping service:

        Jenna and 5 others are stuck in traffic on Interstate 405. Would you like to select a faster router?

        . . . . Jenna: I hate LA
        . . . . Mark: Why are they closing 2 lanes during rush hour?! FML
        . . . . Eric: I need a drink – Annoyed on Interstate 405
        . . . . and 2 others

        San Diego Port Authority -Sponsored Post-
        Get out of LA! Take a vacation to sunny San Diego.

        Aaron and 4 others stopped at The Ghetty Center near Interstate 405.

        It’s Svedka Time -Sponsored Post-
        Need a break? Svedka Vodka is here for you.

        • Kris Knight

          I had to log in and give you a big thanks for this awesome post, god it made me laugh

  • Craig Hawkins

    Yes please! I’ve heard rumors about FB and Apple wanting to buy Waze. I hope it goes under the safe umbrella of Google. :)

  • guitarist5122

    Waze is a garbage app. Almost impossible to just type in an address and go.

    • Chris Griffin

      Actually, it’s the perfect tool for navigating traffic for the morning and afternoon commute, as well as long road trips. I use it daily.

      • guitarist5122

        I really hope your right because I liked the idea of the app but found it frustrating that it couldn’t seem to navigate to a new location. Every time I typed in the address, it would navigate me to an old location. That was about 6 months ago. I’m going to try it again in hopes that it works like a normal navigation app with all the nice social add ons.

        • edoggy

          I use it at least once or twice a week without any problems. In the evening when I open the app it asks me if I am going home. I click yes and it starts navigating me to my saved address entry marked home.

        • Raymond Rodgers

          I dabbled with it back in 2009 and 2010 because it wasn’t very reliable at the time. Since then, it’s replaced Google’s Nav as my primary GPS. It’s true it’s not perfect, partially because it’s user added and edited, but it’s generally been better than Google’s offering, which occasionally had me driving in pointless circles.

    • http://www.technogeekguy.com dswartze

      I love and use Waze all the time – but I have to agree with you that their address search and selection is not very good!

      • Marcio Rodriguez Granado Junio

        That’s true, waze search sucks, but if you use the foursquare search, it works great. I can find preatty much everything with it.

    • ari_free

      Remember…it’s all about the data

    • smithj33

      I know where i am going 99% of the time, so I just use it in live mode to get traffic alerts. I would bet the majority use it this way. It would still be nice to have a better search function for the few times I need it.

  • Marcos Iftach

    The one thing you forgot to mention, which is a huge factor for Waze when it comes to deciding on who to sell it to is the fact that Waze is an Israeli-made app whose developers are Israelis currently living proudly in Israel. Now Facebook’s offer, as a result of Facebook not having a development center or something in Israel, would obligate some of the developers to move overseas to their headquarters and continue the development there. Google on the other hand, who has 2 development centers in Israel (Tel Aviv and Haifa), have not only offered Waze a great amount of money but are also allowing them to stay in Israel and continue developing the app from there, without the need to move away from their homes and leave heir families and start a new life.
    NOW I STRONGLY ASK OF ANY OF THE ANTI-ISRAELI READERS ON THIS WEBSITE TO PLEASE NOT PUT ANY RACIST/ POLITICALLY INVOLVED COMMENTS. THIS IS A PHONE WEBSITE WHERE POLITICS SHOULD NOT BE INVOLVED!! THANK YOU IN ADVANCE

    • Anthony Walker

      Why did you feel the need to post that here?

    • nick olaguez

      OKTHXBAI!

    • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

      Zionist crap. Let business do what business wants.

    • ari_free

      Maybe facebook wants to have a center there so they won’t have to move.

  • Toilet Seat Wipe

    WTF is Waze?

    • Eyad (formerly CTownOL)

      Waze was a GPS app where users actually help to make maps by just using the app. Not only that, users can tell Waze about roads that are temporarily closed so others can know about it in advance.

      I still don’t understand why those users just didn’t use OpenStreetMaps in order to help out the most open map databse there is. Even Apple uses them now.

  • Frank TJ

    I would like to see Facebook and Google working together since its all about innovation, if there is innovation there will be income, they could share it since Larry Page said he just wants innovation I dont see why not partner with facebook? We dont need another patent war…

    • Daniel

      I don’t see Facebook and Google working together… Facebook has agreements with Bing. Maybe if they both agreed to combine their bid and share access to the patents… but that would be a bad move. As Google found out the hard way, not owning patents, even if you have good intentions, doesn’t prevent you (or your partners) from getting sued for innovating.

  • bhake

    With Google coming in late into the bidding, IMO, makes me believe Google is just trying to keep Waze out Facebook’s data hungry hands. If Google was seriously interested in the Waze product and team, they would have made a strong offer upfront, earlier in the game. Sure, a few crowdsourcing pieces of Waze could be rolled into Google Maps. But I don’t see this as a big merger, changing the face of Google Maps. I think Google would see Facebook as a bigger competitor if they acquired Waze. Google Maps provides tons of useful data, especially location based statistics, advertising, etc. If Facebook gets Waze, in the hands of all the Facebook users… watch out.

  • bbqsfire

    I use waze all the time and thinking of Facebook destroying it just made me sick. please Google fork out the dough

  • Ryan Conger

    I love Waze, it’s my primary navigation app! I always wanted some of the features from Google Nav in Waze or Waze features in Google, either way…let’s hope for a Google/Waze marriage!

  • BlueLetter

    Nonononono, I use Waze more than Google Maps. I don’t really trust Google not to use it for its resources and then leave it for dead.

  • http://bit.ly/plusrichard Richard Soper

    Facebook + Waze = A social networking company with little to no mapping experience taking control of a Navigation app. Sounds like a disaster.

    Google + Waze = Pure awesome. Google has years of mapping and navigation experience from building Google Maps into what it is today, not only that but it gets to utilize the real time data of Android users(if opted in) to improve upon Wazes already awesome community sourced data.

    GO GOOGLE!

    • Joshua Peters

      Google – a search engine company that had no experience with mapping software. Ends up making awesome navigation app. Who is to say that FB couldn’t do the same?

      • http://bit.ly/plusrichard Richard Soper

        Lets just look at another project facebook has tried. The “Facebook Phone”. They started with the HTC Chacha….it failed. Then they tried again with the HTC First and Facebook home…HTC first cant even sell for $1 and well, I have yet to find someone who likes Facebook home. Not to mention the fact that facebook home takes something great(android) and strips away the things that make it great(customization) and leaves you with nothing but facebook and an iOS like app drawer.

        We saw what happened when a company with no mapping experience jumps into the market prematurely with Apple Maps and it isnt pretty. We also saw some questionable changes to Instagram following the FB purchase.

        To be fair though my opinion is pretty slanted. I am an avid Wazer, a Google fanatic, and I flat out hate facebook.