News Column

Facebook May Spend $1 Billion to Buy Waze Social Media Traffic App

May 10, 2013

Facebook may be ready to spend $1 billion to acquire Waze, an Israeli company that offers a socially driven GPS app for drivers, tech-watching sites said.

Israeli business-news site Calcalist said talks between the two companies have been ongoing for six months and the two companies have agreed in principle on the sale, CNET reported Thursday.

However, sources familiar with Waze told the Times of Israel a deal is not necessarily forthcoming, and a Facebook spokesperson gave CNET a no-comment.

Waze, with about 45 million users, is a free mobile smartphone app that helps drivers navigate traffic using live maps, traffic updates and turn-by-turn navigation.

A social network facet comes into play when fellow Waze users offer input on traffic jams or other obstacles to help ease or adjust a journey.

An acquisition of Waze would give Facebook a foot in the door of the mobile search business, which on mobile devices centers around mapping apps and is currently dominated by Google, CNET said.

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Source: Copyright UPI 2013. Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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