Rumour: Google Set To Ink US$1.3 Billion Deal For Waze Traffic App
Popular mapping-app Waze has been a hot commodity in the tech world recently, fetching offers from Facebook and Apple along the $1 billion range. But it appears Google won the bidding war, for a cool $1.3 billion, according to a report from Israeli media.
Haaretz newspaper said on its website that the two companies had agreed terms and were about to sign for a price “exceeding $1 billion”.
Business daily Globes said the purchase price was $1.3 billion. Neither report identified its sources. “We don’t comment on rumour and speculation,” a Google spokesman told AFP about the Israeli media reports.
Waze, whose mobile app solicits input from more than 40 million users to improve directions and display traffic and road-hazard details, would help Google add social features to its mapping tool, said Greg Sterling, an analyst at Opus Research.
Interestingly, Microsoft was reportedly an early investor in Waze back in 2009, helping the fledgling start-up with building capital. Microsoft (or Nokia and their HERE services) were not part of the latest round of negotiations, which means either they did not see the value in the company, had alternatives or were simply caught off guard.
Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook issued a public apology for Apple Mapssoftware, which was followed by the announcement of an iOS version from Google of Google Maps.
In an interview with “AllThingsD” at D11 in May, Cook announced that Apple had not bid for Waze.