It is now official. Google has purchased crowd-sourced navigation app Waze for an unconfirmed price of $1.1 billion-$1.3 billion
. Rumors of such a deal started leaking over the weekend
. Waze uses real time traffic information from users to help other members get from one place to another while avoiding traffic, accidents and radar traps. Parts of the service will be integrated into Google Maps. As part of the acquisition, the Waze team will remain in Israel for now, where it has been located. A potential deal with Facebook collapsed
over the insistence of the latter that the Waze team move to the U. S. and work from Facebook headquarters.
Google added that it would also work with the Waze community to make sure that they are given what they need to continue to grow the service. That includes access to Google's powerful search engine. Waze currently has 50 million members.
Other companies like Apple
, Facebook and Yahoo were linked to a purchase of Waze, but in the end it was Google that won out over the others. The price of the acquisition, while unconfirmed for the moment, could turn out to be as much 30% higher
than the $1 billion that the navigation app was expected to fetch.