For some, spending a billion bucks comes easy. Just this week, Yahoo closed its deal to acquire
Tumblr with next to no fuss from regulators. But when it comes to Google, it seems that the feds are constantly casting glances. The company recently announced its intentions
to acquire rival mapping firm Waze for over a billion dollars, but now the Federal Trade Commission has launched an antitrust investigation to see if the deal will be allowed.
Google has confirmed that such an investigation is ongoing, but won't speak further on the details. Media reports suggest that the breaking up of the deal is unlikely, as the FTC would, at this point, need to provide evidence that the combination of companies would "significantly crimp competition in the mapping market." Given how few (relatively) users Waze has, that's unlikely to be the case. In fact, Waze's revenue stream was too low to trigger an automatic investigation to begin with.
Still, it's one more headache for Google as it attempts to move forward and utilize Waze's expertise in mapping, and for consumers, it's just one more legal hurdle bothering a company that would rather be innovating.