Yesterday, reports emerged that Google was on the verge of buying Israel-based navigation company Waze. Today, it’s official. Google has announced that they’ve closed the acquisition.
Both Google and Waze make a point to say that Waze will operate independently – for now.
“The Waze product development team will remain in Israel and operate separately for now. We’re excited about the prospect of enhancing Google Maps with some of the traffic update features provided by Waze and enhancing Waze with Google’s search capabilities,” says Google’s VP of Geo Brian McClendon.
“Nothing practical will change here at Waze. We will maintain our community, brand, service and organization – the community hierarchy, responsibilities and processes will remain the same. The same Waze people will continue to collaborate with you, and we will continue to innovate our product and services, making them more social, functional and helpful for everyday drivers. Our employees, managers, founders and I are all committed to our vision for many years to come,” says Waze CEO Noam Bardin.
Neither team elaborated on financial details of the deal, but previous reports indicate that it could have been as much as $1.3 billion.
Waze had been on the market for some time, and possible suitors included both Apple and Facebook. Had either of those companies jumped on a deal, it could have given them a way to possibly challenge Google in the maps realm. But with today’s acquisition, Google simply reinforces their dominance.
“The Waze community and its dedicated team have created a great source of timely road corrections and updates. We welcome them to Google and look forward to working with them in our ongoing effort to make a comprehensive, accurate and useful map of the world,” says McClendon.