Google, Facebook May be Facing Waze Bidding War

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Facebook isn't the only company interested in buying up the community-fed mapping and navigation company Waze. Apparently Google is negotiating with Waze, too, and that could drive the company's price up over US$1 billion.

Google wants to buy Waze, just like FacebookGoogle wants to buy Waze, just like Facebook

Google apparently approached Waze about a possible buyout deal after news of Facebook's negotiations were leaked, according to Bloomberg. Neither company is close to signing a deal.

Word surfaced in early May that Facebook was several months into talks with Waze. The two comapnies already have a content deal in place that lets Waze users share location information on through their Facebook accounts.

The company that's conspicuously missing from buyout talks is Apple. The Mac and iPhone maker was rumored at one point to be negotiating, but those reports were apparently wrong. Apple does, however, have a deal with Waze to provide some data for its own Maps app.

Waze gained popularity as a turn-by-turn directions app on the iPhone. The company collects real-time traffic data from its users, and relies on them to crowd source more accurate map data by offering in-app challenges where users find locations.

Google already offers its own mapping service, so buying Waze would give the company more data to work with, but more importantly would keep Waze out of competitor's hands.

None of the companies are commenting on the rumored negotiations. Assuming they are taking place, however, it looks like a bidding war could be brewing.

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Assuming the Waze team really is interested in a buyout, a bidding war would be a great thing. While there is a lot of value in the company, the bigger value in the end for Facebook and Google may be keeping Waze out of competitor's hands.



I wish Apple would buy Waze. It’s the only one that makes sense. Neither Google nor FB makes sense to me.


Shouldn’t the DOJ scrutinize this activity to determine if Google’s behavior is monopolistic or anti-competitive?

Jeff Gamet

Until Google or Waze confirms the negotiations the DOJ can’t officially look into Google’s actions. Once the DOJ has something solid to go on, it can consider whether or not Google’s actions are violating any laws.

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