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Google Businesses The Almighty Buck

Google To Buy Waze For $1.3 Billion 153

An anonymous reader writes "Google and Israeli start-up Waze have agreed in principle on a deal in which the search engine giant will buy the road traffic information sharing application for $1.3 billion. Waze, which claims more than 40 million users, describes itself as an app bringing together 'the world's largest community of drivers who work together to fight traffic, and save time and gas money on their daily commute.' There have been previous reports that first Apple and then Facebook wanted to acquire the Israeli start-up."
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Google To Buy Waze For $1.3 Billion

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    "President Obama defended the two programs that exploded into public view". In other words he confirmed both leaks as true.

    Google have denied their involvement in Prism.

    "SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Google CEO Larry Page and Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg are denying reports that depict two of the Internet's most influential companies as willing participants in a secret government pr

  • Not happy (Score:5, Informative)

    by stephanruby ( 542433 ) on Monday June 10, 2013 @05:35AM (#43959199)

    I'm not too happy about this. Waze was the only alternative that could go toe-to-toe with Google Maps Navigation in terms of doing real-time crowdsourcing aggregation of driving data.

    I know there are others like Nokia (which purchased Navteq, currently the leader in maps), Microsoft, and Tom Tom, but those others don't work nearly as well mostly because they haven't done anything new in the last ten years.

    At least, there is Open Street Maps now, but that still doesn't have good turn-by-turn navigation (nor good real-time up-to-the-second information).

    • Re:Not happy (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Shadow of Eternity ( 795165 ) on Monday June 10, 2013 @07:01AM (#43959511)

      Every time I've tried to use waze it overheated my phone so much it was physically uncomfortable to hold, google navigation on the other hand behaves nicely. If they take waze's features and google's performance I'd be happy.

    • by afidel ( 530433 )

      Yeah, with the impending closing of igoogle I've switched my homepage netvibes and Waze was the only source of realtime traffic maps that would allow themselves to be embedded in a third party site. With this purchase I'm going to be back to popping out to a different site which is less than ideal.

    • by puto ( 533470 )
      Nokia has owned Navteq for the last 6 years. Your post makes it sound like a recent purchase. Nokia has always been number one it is mapping product. It can found a house I own in South America, in a small town in Colombia, whereas google maps can get near it, and apple maps just acts confused.
  • by Chatterton ( 228704 ) on Monday June 10, 2013 @05:46AM (#43959233) Homepage

    I like Waze very much and use it from time to time but I find very frequently that Waze make you take really stupid roads sometime more slower than the one with the traffic jams :/ Other problems I have with Waze are: From time to time it doesn't seems to be able to start the GPS of my tablet, Reboot my tablet just before an exit I should have taken on the motorway, Slow to detect that I have not taken its planned path...
    Else I use Google navigation with lot less problems but I get in the traffic jams each time when i need to go in town :(

    Now Google navigation with the traffic jam avoidance of Waze could be really be good.

    • by FS ( 10110 )

      Same here. I have found the same problem.

      One of the biggest annoyances of Waze is that it seems to believe the majority rather than the truth. If the majority of people significantly exceed the speed limit down a narrow country road then it seems to think that I will too and sticks me there. I'd have to go double the speed limit in order for that road to be faster than the normal path. It also routinely puts me down "Local Access Only" roads as through roads. There is one turn on my route home that is "No L

    • Now Google navigation with the traffic jam avoidance of Waze could be really be good.

      google has traffic jam avoidance. it just doesn't avoid traffic for the sake of avoiding traffic. for example, it won't suggest a slightly faster alternate route if it' results in significantly longer distance. this is generally what makes sense. e.g., it doesn't make sense to drive an extra 20 miles to save 5 minutes.

      the sad fact is that it's typically faster to just sit there in traffic. i suppose if you are the type to irrationally avoid traffic at all costs, then google nav might not be your cup of tea.

  • I can only see this as a move to head off Apple (but why Apple didn't by them a year ago ...)

  • by figleaf ( 672550 ) on Monday June 10, 2013 @06:15AM (#43959357) Homepage

    Instead of wasting so much money, I wish Google had investing in something much more worthwhile like offline navigation.

  • I use and like both Google maps and Waze; you can't beat streetview and the quality of Google maps, whilst Waze can give you some handy updates.
    This really just goes to show what a massive failure Google has been in 'social' stuff, despite its huge success in other areas.
    I still don't "get" Google plus, despite being a keen user of Gmail, Picasa, Docs etc.(urm, still waiting for the Picasa Android client, guys).

    Main thing to remember, though, is always keep a 'hard' map loaded on your device too, for those

  • I've been using Waze for ages and have an older iPhone so can't use apple's built-in nav. I use a combination of google maps and waze. Waze's navigation is sometimes a bit quirky and I've noticed that google's routing is better (also offers walking and cycling routing). Searching in google maps is far superior to Waze, though for some reason they *still* can't search your contacts on your phone!

    The actual UI in waze is much better than google though. For some reason, google maps nav always seems to lag a
    • by Khan ( 19367 )

      This is my exact concern too. I'm not a fan of Google Maps for driving and like you, have seen the delays (among other quirks) in the map nav. And unlike GM, Waze's integration into FB is something that's well done. Also, start time of the app in general is much quicker on my 4S. If they maintain it separately like FB did with Instagram, I'll be ok with that. However, given Googles track record and "Do Evil" stance, I'm not holding my breath.

      • I really can't see any reason for google to maintain two different nav applications. I expect waze to vanish within the next 12 months.
  • "community of drivers who work together to fight traffic"

    That's strange. I've always thought that drivers are traffic. Are they fighting themselves? Or just other communities of drivers?

    There's definitely scope for competition here. Different communities, different apps, swore deadly enemies fighting to the death! Which one can stage a fake traffic jam that sends the other into a futile five mile detour, leaving the road half empty?

    • by Xest ( 935314 )

      "There's definitely scope for competition here. Different communities, different apps, swore deadly enemies fighting to the death! Which one can stage a fake traffic jam that sends the other into a futile five mile detour, leaving the road half empty?"

      I feel this idea deserves much VC funding.

  • "google-to-buy-waze-for-13-billion"

    who needs any dots between 1 and 3 ;)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Strategic blow to everyone not paying for Google Maps data (i.e. Apple). Google might simple kill the company off, or more likely sorta roll their tech into the main Google maps app. As long as nobody else gets the data Google is happy.

  • I really, really like Waze just the way it is, and have been using it on my iPhone since even before the whole iOS Maps debacle started... and having tried both of the new apps since then, neither Apple Maps nor Google Maps can compare to Waze, IMHO. Google better not screw this up.
  • Since it is buying an Israeli company?
  • Ever get the feeling that we'll look back at this period in history and be kind of astonished at how it turned into a race to see how quickly giant companies can spend billions aquiring no-names? Is this a trendy thing now? They're spending billions on "Waze"? What's a Waze?
  • So long Waze. It was good while it lasted. I'll miss you.

  • So, does that mean that we can now say bye-bye to the feature where you can report police

    "in countries where it is agains the law" ? (everywhere soon) ...

    • No need, now the police will report you, as soon as Google shows them the data. The sad part is, that this is not an "In Soviet Russia..." joke.

  • Waze is actually illegal in France. If you get cough with a device that can alert you to police presence and the exact location of speed cameras, you will loose 6 points of your permit and get a € 1500 fine.

    Yet, Waze is extremely popular in France (the French generally find this law to go against their "liberties").

    This has worked up until now because the company that makes Waze does not have any business presence in France, and the French government cannot exercise any pressure against the Israeli

A committee takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom. -- Parkinson