Not too long ago, news broke that Google was buying Waze, which is a crowdsourced mapping company. Many believed that they bought it just to keep it out of the hands of Facebook and Apple. The FTC has asked Google for information related to its Waze acquisition as they review the deal. According to numerous reports coming out this weekend.
The Federal Trade Commission wants to look into possible antitrust issues stemming from the deal. Which the New York Post first reported on Saturday, in which they quoted many anonymous sources. The WSJ’s AllThingsD technology blog later got confirmation from Google about the probe.
Earlier this month Google announced that they had acquired Waze, which is a pretty darn good alternative to Google Maps. The company is based in Israel, and Google said they wanted to add more real-time navigation tools to its Maps product. Now according to the New York Post, Google didn’t voluntarily submit the deal for FTC review because Waze’s US revenue was less than $70 million.
The FTC is reportedly getting involved due to Google being a dominant player in the online mapping market, and swallowing one its few viable competitors isn’t always good. Neither company disclosed the financial details of the deal, but various reports put the deal between $1 and 1.3 billion.
Waze is a mobile app that allows users to share reports about road and traffic conditions in real time, so that other drivers and motorists can make route adjustments. And in Google’s eyes, that’s a data gold mine. Could you imagine how much better Google Maps could be with injecting some of Waze’s data into Google Maps? It would be pretty amazing to say the least.
So the FTC might block the deal, they might now. But if they do, you’d think that if Apple tried to buy it they’d block them too? Then again, Apple’s Maps really aren’t all that viable, now are they? Then there was Facebook that was trying to buy Waze, who knows why though.