Google Buys Waze in Push to Expand Mobile Mapping

Photo Credit: BloombergBusinessweek. Photographer: Nir Elias/Corbis

Photo Credit: BloombergBusinessweek.

Photographer: Nir Elias/Corbis

Google Inc. (GOOG) has acquired map-software provider Waze Inc., seeking to keep competitors such as Facebook Inc. and Apple Inc. (AAPL) from eroding its lead in mobile-navigation programs.

Terms of the deal for Waze, with offices in Israel and Palo Alto, California, weren’t disclosed in Google’s blog post announcing the purchase today. The price was about $1.1 billion, a person familiar with the transaction said earlier this week.

As consumers shift to smartphones and tablets and away from personal computers, Facebook and Google are increasing efforts to court customers on the move. Waze, whose mobile app solicits input from almost 50 million users to improve directions and display traffic and road-hazard details, would provide social features for Google’s navigation tool. It may also help Google extend its dominance in maps over rival Apple. Read More