Google acquired Israel-based navigation company Waze earlier this month, after about a year’s worth of rumors that competitor Facebook would do so. Now, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is making sure the move is not anti-competitive.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday that Google has confirmed it’s been contacted by FTC lawyers about a review. Details beyond that are sketchy.
It will be interesting to see where this one goes. One can certainly see where a Waze acquisition could have made another company more competitive with the dominant Google Maps, but it’s hard to say if Google’s acquisition of the company will stifle competition.
The fact that the acquisition has already closed could work in Google’s favor. According to the report, antitrust lawyers have indicated that it would be unlikely for the FTC to demand Google reverse the daal without significant evidence, but the commission could ask Google not to integrate Waze until the review is over.
The acquisition cost Google $1.1 billion. Google says it aims to help users “outsmart” traffic” by “enhancing Google Maps with some of the traffic update features provided by Waze and enhancing Waze with Google’s search capabilities.”