Internet behemoths Google are set to purchase Israeli start-ups Waze Ltd in a deal worth $1.3 billion. According to Israeli business website Globes, Google appears to have nudged Facebook out of the way from its pole position to purchase the start-up, whose interest to purchase Waze appeared almost exactly a month ago.
Globes’ report further stated that the the fact that Google has an office in Israel, which allows Waze’s employees to remain in the country – is proving to be a major advantage over Facebook, who has a record of absorbing most of the companies it acquired. Google’s seemingly imminent deal is also significant as the race heats up in the mobile mapping and navigation scene, where Finnish giants Nokia has garnered quite a significant lead with its Here range of mapping services.
The purchase of Waze will most likely fill one major hole in Google Maps: voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation. Also, with its crowd-sourced traffic and mapping data powered by its active user base of close to 50 million worldwide , Waze can further add to Google’s already-extensive mapping data, especially in countries where Google’s mapping services is not yet available. If the deal does go through, the race to provide the best mapping experience for mobile may prove to be one of the most exciting developments in the mobile industry.