FTC To Review Antitrust Potential of Google’s Waze Acquisition

Hopefully Google didn't pop the top on expensive bottles of champagne celebrating the $1.1 billion acquisition of Waze, a popular GPS-based turn-by-turn navigational app for mobile that hard drawn interest from a number of suitors, including Facebook. The expensive acquisition has drawn the attention of antitrust lawyers at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which have contacted Google about its purchase.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the FTC may have asked Google to hang tight and refrain from baking Waze into its software and service until the investigation is complete. At issue for the FTC is whether or not Waze would have become a direct competitor with Google and its Google Maps software, and whether any evidence exists that the search giant acquired the company simply to prevent its rivals from buying Waze.


In addition to Facebook, which uses Microsoft's Bing Maps technology, Apple is known to have been interested in acquiring Waze. Apple's own Maps service already integrates some information from Waze so it would have been a natural fit, though it's not clear how much Apple may have offered the company, or if a bid was even made.

Acquiring Waze for $1.1 billion represents the fourth largest purchase in Google's history.