Google seals Waze acquisition

Google has acquired mobile navigation application firm Waze. The deal is worth $1.3bn, according to news agency Reuters. The Tel-Aviv start up uses live maps with real-time traffic updates, a feature Google is keen to integrate into its own offerings.

“The Waze product development team will remain in Israel and operate separately for now,” explained Brian McClendon, vice president of Google’s Geo product family. “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.”

The deal is one of the largest in Google’s long acquisition history. The firm acquired video sharing site YouTube for $1.6bn in 2006, online advertising service DoubleClick for $3.1bn in 2007 and Motorola Mobility for $12.5bn in 2011. Google has acquired well over 100 companies since 2001.

The acquisition follows last month’s launch of a music-subscription service to complement the sale of music downloads from Google Play. The Music All Access service will compete with Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody and Xbox Music in the US, with overseas rollouts expected soon.

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