According to reports, Google is set to buy Israeli traffic app Waze for over $1 billion.
Waze is a traffic app for iOS and Android that uses its GPS mapping technology to alert users to congestion on the roadways and helps to reroute them to avoid traffic delays. The app, which according to The Wall Street Journal has about 45 million users in over 190 countries, relies on crowd-sourcing to add information, such as gas prices, to the app. Waze has about 70,000 members who edit maps, alert users to accidents and add information like where to look out for speed traps.
These reports come after months of back-and-forth between the Israeli-based Waze and Facebook. In May, reports indicated the social networking company was poised to pay $1 billion for Waze, but the deal fell apart because Facebook wanted to relocate the company to California, while Waze wanted to remain in Israel. Earlier reports also indicated that Apple was interested in purchasing the company, but CEO Tim Cook denied the speculation last month at the AllThingsD D11 conference.
According to sources in The Wall Street Journal report, Google could leave Waze as a standalone app and let the company continue to run itself from Israel, while taking its most valuable data and incorporating that into its Google Maps offerings. Google has purchased two other Israeli start-ups in the past and has an office in the country.
Source: The Wall Street Journal