Google set to acquire Israeli app Waze for $1.3b

By GLOBES/HAGAI GOLAN, TZACHI HOFFMAN
June 9, 2013 18:20
1 minute read.

 
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The acquisition of the Israeli navigation app and traffic report start up will be completed after months of speculation involving Google, Facebook and Apple.

Sources inform ''Globes'' that Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) will acquire Waze Ltd. for $1.3 billion. The acquisition of the Israeli navigation app and traffic report start-up will be completed after months of reports that Waze would be sold to either Google or Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB).

Ra'anana-based Waze has almost 50 million users. This is a big number for an Israeli company, which probably helped it achieve the hoped-for exit.

Reports about a possible sale of Waze are not new. Last year there were reports Apple wanted to buy Waze and in late August 2012, it was reported that Facebook was in talks to acquire the company. According to some reports, Facebook representatives arrived in Israel to meet Waze executives, but no deal was reached in the negotiations, apparently because of the price tag.

Another reason was that Waze insisted that its Israeli employees should continue working in Israel, which Facebook did not accept. Google has already made two acquisitions in Israel, and it has an office here, in contrast to Facebook, which closed most of the companies it acquired, including Israeli start-ups. Both previous Israeli acquisitions by Google were modest. Google acquired personalized Website gadget developer Labpixies for $25 million and interactive video-clip developer Quiksee for $10 million. Both acquisitions were in 2010.

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