Report: Facebook To Buy Israeli GPS App Waze For $1 Billion
Facebook is in advance stages of negotiation for acquiring Israeli social GPS Waze. Israeli financial magazine Calcalist reports that the companies have entered the due diligence stage of the negotiations and are about to sign an agreement. Facebook will reportedly pay between $800 million and $1 billion.
Reports have surfaced in the beginning of this year, alleging Waze was approached by Apple with a $750 million offer, but Waze declined since the figure was too low.
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The report says Facebook will not intervene in the way Waze runs its operation. The collaboration between the social network and the Israeli startup started last October, when Waze came out with a feature that enables users to see which of their Facebook friends are nearby.
If the deal goes through, it will be one of the largest acquisitions made by Facebook, on par with its acquisition of Instagram in September 2012, which also had a $1 billion price tag.
This wouldn’t be the first time Facebook acquires an Israeli startup. In 2011, Facebook bought Snaptu for $70 million and Face.com in 2012 for $60 million. Both startups were subsequently relocated outside of Israel. However, it is unclear if Waze would keep its Israeli offices.
Waze was founded in 2007 by Israeli entrepreneurs Ehud Shabtai, Amir Shinar and Uri Levine. It is considered the world’s largest social GPS and has some 45 million active users worldwide.
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