Google finalizing $1.3 billion deal for mapping company Waze: source

Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:34pm EDT
 
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By Alexei Oreskovic and Alistair Barr

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc is finalizing a deal to acquire online mapping company Waze for $1.3 billion, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The deal is expected to be announced this week, though it was unlikely to occur on Monday, another source told Reuters.

"Negotiations are nearly final. There are a couple of details being worked out," the second source said. The source described the remaining details as "logistics" rather than significant sticking points.

Google and Waze declined to comment.

The deal with Google comes after discussions between Waze and social networking company Facebook Inc fell apart last month, according to a report in the technology blog AllThingsDigital. Waze was unwilling to relocate its Israeli-based engineering team to Facebook's U.S. headquarters, according to the report.

Maps and navigation services have become a key asset for technology companies as consumers increasingly adopt smartphones and other mobile devices. Waze uses satellite signals from members' smartphones to generate maps and traffic data, which it then shares with other users, offering real-time traffic info.

Google's existing maps service is among the most popular, which could raise antitrust issues for the deal.

The 4-year-old Waze, which has 47 million users, has raised $67 million in funding to date from firms including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Blue Run Ventures and semiconductor company Qualcomm Inc.   Continued...

 
A Google sign is seen at a Best Buy electronics store in this photo illustration in Encinitas, California April 11, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake