After a long bidding war, Google is nearing a deal to acquire Waze for $1.3 billion according to Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz. The deal still has to be finalized. One of Google’s primary selling points for the deal is that they will not lay off Waze’s employees at their development center in Israel. Google also agreed to let Waze continue their development in Israel “for at least three years.”
Waze CEO Noam Bardin is expected to remain in his position. Waze will also be able to retain their brand and will not be integrated into Google.
Waze has been in acquisition talks for months now. Google and Facebook both were the lead bidders. Supposedly the Facebook deal fell through because the social network company wanted Waze to move in to their Menlo Park, California headquarters.
Waze is an application that uses crowdsourced data to offer real-time GPS traffic information. Waze has well over 40 million users and they recently launched a feature that showcases road closures.