Google recently purchased Waze, a company that uses social data in its maps.

Google buys Waze to boost its digital maps

June 12, 2013 4:29 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

In an effort to stay ahead of Facebook and Apple, Google announced that it would be buying Waze, an online mapping service, for $1.03 billion.

Waze combines user-generated travel times and route information with a GPS-based map, according to a report in the Boston Globe. Though this deal was the fourth-most-expensive in Google's history, it will allow Google to stay ahead of its competitors in the growing market for digital maps.

This isn't just because more people are accessing maps on their smartphones and tablets. Waze's 50 million users have contributed an enormous amount of data to the program, which Google wants to take advantage of, especially given its recent efforts to create personalized maps based on its users' interests.

"Waze's design and user experience is more fun, liter and more interactive," contributor Rip Empson wrote on TechCrunch. "Wazers can be religious about reporting traffic jams or speed traps, and Google knows that it can use that." 

In addition, purchasing Waze will allow Google to keep improving its core Google Maps program, which currently enjoys a lead over similar products offered by Facebook and Apple. This lead, however, could have narrowed significantly had Google allowed one of its rivals to scoop up Waze before it had the chance to make an offer.

It's not uncommon to see larger technology companies buy smaller ones in order to take advantage of a particular service or audience. However, no company should acquire another without good legal advice, which is why local businesses should consult with a Phoenix small business attorney before making any purchase.

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