Neither Google nor Waze would confirm the bid, Globes says. And observers have had reason to doubt acquisition stories out of Israel lately: as well as the collapse of previous bids for Waze, a Pepsico bid for Sodastream was recently reported, then hotly denied. But the search giant’s interest in Waze was first reported two weeks ago, and it would make a certain sense.
Moreover, Google, which is apparently willing to pay a good deal more for Waze than either Apple or Facebook were—and, unlike Facebook, is willing to let Waze keep most of its staff in Israel—isn’t getting nearly as much for its money. The Israeli app offers mapping, navigation and traffic reports based on automated data from its users’ phones; so does Google Maps. The main difference is that Waze users can actively contribute reports of traffic jams, police checkpoints, roadworks and so on.