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Google-Waze deal investigated by FTC

by Sean Savage, JNS.org

June 24, 2013 | 10:33 am

The logo of Waze, whose recent acquisition by Google is being investigated by the FTC.

The logo of Waze, whose recent acquisition by Google is being investigated by the FTC.

The Federal Trade Commisssion is examining Google’s $1 billion deal to purchase the Israeli navigation start-up Waze to see if the purchase violated any antitrust laws.

After the deal between Google and Waze was finalized June 11, Google believed it didn’t need to submit the deal for review because Waze’s revenue in the U.S. is less than $70 million. If the FTC determineds there were violations in the deal, Google will most likely have to re-sell Waze at a loss. Apple, Facebook and Microsoft all previously wanted to purchase the Israeli start-up.

Even if no violations are found, Waze could still be determined to be a “firm that plays a disruptive role in the market to the benefit of customers,” which is possible since there is no other social-based mapping service like Waze on the market, the New York Times reported. In that case, Google’s purchase can also be invalidated.

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