Mike Isaac

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Facebook Acquisition Talks With Waze Fall Apart

waze_screenAfter months of negotiations, Facebook is no longer in talks to acquire Waze, the Israel-based social mapping and navigation startup, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The two companies had been in discussion for a potential acquisition, with a price tag that could have reached up to $1 billion.

But the talks dissolved in recent days, according to sources, due in part to conflicts over whether or not the Waze team — which is predominantly based in Israel — would move over to the United States and fold itself into Facebook’s Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters, among other reasons.

Reps from both Facebook and Waze declined to comment.

Waze’s mobile application seemed like a logical acquisition target for Facebook, as Waze relies on crowdsourced traffic data, accident reports and police traps from its 40-million-plus userbase to help drivers better navigate their road trips. While competitors Google and Apple both offer mapping services, Facebook currently does not offer any sort of maps app.

And buying a popular mapping service could have been another way for Facebook to push into mobile, complementing the social giant’s widely adopted photo and messaging applications.

Moreover, Waze was built as a social application “from the ground up” — a philosophy Facebook especially espouses — rather than as a mapping application with a social layer slapped atop it. In essence, it fit with Facebook’s vision of a social service. So it wouldn’t be impossible for the two companies to figure out terms that make sense for both sides.

It has been widely speculated that Apple was in talks to acquire Waze, which would also make sense given the company’s missteps with its own mapping app.

But at the D: All Things Digital conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., on Tuesday, Cook publicly denied that Apple had made a bid for Waze.


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