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Google buys Israeli navigation startup for over 1 billion USD


10:38, June 12, 2013

JERUSALEM, June 11 (Xinhua) -- Internet search giant Google on Tuesday closed a deal to buy Israeli navigation startup Waze for 1. 1 billion U.S. dollars.

Waze, a navigating application for smartphones and tablets, provides driving routes based on real-time traffic updates from users on the Waze social network.

"I'm excited to announce today that we have accepted an offer to join Google," Waze CEO Noam Bardin wrote on the company's blog.

Waze's product development team will stay in Israel and operate separately for at least three years, according to Google.

"We're excited about the prospect of enhancing Google Maps with some of the traffic update features provided by Waze and enhancing Waze with Google's search capabilities," said Google's Vice President, Brian McClendon.

In May, Waze was in advanced negotiation with Facebook, but the deal was not finalized reportedly because Facebook insisted on moving the Waze management and team to its headquarters in Menlo Park, California of the United States.

In addition, Facebook reportedly agreed to pay only half of the amount of the acquisition in cash and the rest in Facebook shares. However, Google set out to pay the entire sum in cash.

Google already has a popular maps service, Google Maps. However, it is not capable to report on traffic congestion, police presence, road accidents, speed cameras, and road hazards.

Waze operates a successful social network for drivers with almost 50 million users.

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