Google’s Waze Acquisition Likely Target Of FTC Scrutiny

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating acquisitions made by big tech firms in the past 10 years and has a special focus on Google’s $1.1 billion purchase of mapping app Waze, Bloomberg reported on Friday (Feb. 14). In June 2013, the FTC approved Google’s acquisition of the Israeli company behind the crowdsourced navigation app Waze. It was different from Google���s own Maps, in that users could exchange information about police in the area or traffic-causing construction. Waze was considered by some to be part social media site, part navigation app. Antitrust experts said the FTC is now looking back on the acquisition because it put the two most popular mapping apps under the ownership of the same company — Google. The FTC said owning both gave Google control over and access to even more user data. Further, by purchasing Waze, Google got rid of its main competitor. Bilal Sayyed, the FTC’s director for the Office of Policy Planning, told reporters on Tuesday (Feb. 11) that it is taking another look at several deals from the past.

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