25 June 2013

Google's $1.3bn Waze deal under investigation

The US trade watchdog is set to investigate Google's major acquisition of traffic-mapping company Waze following demands from consumer groups worldwide.

By James Barnes

Google deal under the microscope

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will investigate the $1.3 billion deal after concern was expressed that Google – which already has a dominant position in the online mapping market – could restrict consumer choice, reports the Guardian.

Separate units

Even though Waze – an Israeli start-up which gives real-time traffic information based on its users’ data – has revenues of below $70 million, which is the level at which an FTC investigation would automatically be triggered, the trade enforcer is entitled to investigate any takeover that it thinks could corner the market.
Upon announcing the deal, Californian company Google said the two firms would remain as separate units ‘for now’. However,  the FTC could instruct the companies to continue the separation while an investigation is carried out.

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