Tech giant Google is preparing to purchase crowd-sourced navigation app Waze for an acquisition cost of $1 billion.
According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, executives at Google decided to offer the hefty sum after a bidding war broke out for the popular platform.
While the deal has not been finalized, Google has already reportedly promised not to lay off workers at the app’s development center in Israel. That promise from Google would last for “at least three years.”
The report also claims that Waze CEO Noam Bardin will remain at the head of the platform and that Waze will retain its brand name for the foreseeable future.
It is also believed that, over the next few years, Waze will not be integrated with Google services, instead focusing on its current road map for services.
The social-powered navigation app for iPhone has also received interest from the team at Facebook. With the social war between Facebook and Google heating up, the final acquisition cost was likely pushed higher than originally expected.
Apple was also rumored to be involved in an acquisition attempt; however, on May 28, Apple CEO Tim Cook firmly denied any type of Waze-based bid for the Israeli tech firm. It was originally reported that Apple offered to purchase Waze for $500 million.
Google at this time is providing reporters with a standard response: “We don’t comment on rumor or speculation.”
Facebook, in the meantime, might be a better buyer for Waze. Facebook proved with Instagram that it is capable of buying popular social platforms and then running them as their own entities with added Facebook support. Google, on the other hand, likes to buy up companies and fold them into Google services that have a less stellar track record.
Do you think Google acquiring Waze is a smart business decision for the search giant?