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Google seals Waze takeover deal

Graeme Parton

It was confirmed this week that search giant Google has completed the purchase of user-sourced navigation app Waze. The deal comes after**more** much speculation about a bidding war, which is thought to have also involved Facebook and Apple.

While the deal’s full details are yet to be released, it is thought that Google has paid around $1.3bn (£835m) for the popular app. If this price is correct, Waze would become the fourth priciest acquisition in Google’s 15-year life. The company’s top three acquisitions are the $12.4bn purchase of Motorola Mobility Holdings; DoubleClick, which cost $3.2bn, and YouTube, which came at the bargain price of $1.76bn.

Speaking about the new addition to its portfolio, Google said in a blog post:

“The Waze product development team will remain in Israel and operate separately for now. We’re excited about the prospect of enhancing Google Maps with some of the traffic update features provided by Waze and enhancing Waze with Google’s search capabilities.”

Waze followed this up with its own statement, explaining that nothing at the company would change. Noam Bardin, the company’s CEO, said:

“We will maintain our community, brand, service and organization – the community hierarchy, responsibilities and processes will remain the same.”

Waze’s appeal lies mainly in its user-friendliness, which, in turn, relies on its users sharing information with the app’s growing community. Many experts are expecting Google to look to integrate Waze into the services it already offers, particularly Google+, which hasn’t quite shown the same draw as its rivals Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

The idea of social navigation has really caught on among the Android and iOS users who have already downloaded the app. It will be interesting to see how businesses are able to use the service as a part of their marketing strategies, especially with the arrival of Google Glass expected in 2014.

Graeme has experience creating content for online sources and for the radio, and at university he studied Multimedia Journalism.

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