Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) already has dominant market share with its Google Maps service for users, especially on mobile devices. The company has been doing a bit of a dance with a startup that has taking mapping to a whole new, interactive level. It was the type of social start up that had Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) talking and courting it for quite a while. After all, this social mapping application would have been a good fit for Facebook, its social network and could have been a good complement for the company’s Graph Search feature, which has been intended to be a competitor to Google Search at some point.
However, negotiations with Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) fell through despite the company offering about $800 million for a mobile app that has fewer than 50 million users. The deal was close to being finalized this past winter – just the i’s had to be dotted and the t’s crossed – but Waze just couldn’t pull the trigger. It was a real-estate deal – it came down to location, location, location. And this is where Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) stepped in a short time after the Facebook deal collapsed. The courtship has been pretty intense, and part of that reason has been the real-estate question that Google seemed ready to answer for beneficially than Facebook did.
And so, after a whirlwind courtship, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) seems primed to announce the marriage to Waze, as the deal is reportedly to be worth about $1.3 billion when the dust settled – a 62-percent premium over what Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) was offering. But you know what seems to be the best part?
The real-estate question – not only does the company get $1.3 billion to become part of Google’s growing empire – and perhaps enable Google Maps to potentially monopolize the mapping segment – but the employees, who are loyal to their homeland of Israel where they started, will be able to remain in the country.
They will only likely be required to move to Google’s existing research and development facility in Israel, which should work out perfectly not only for Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), but for Waze’s engineers as they will be now on the frontlines of integrating Waze’s unique social features into Google Maps to make that application for of a truly interactive and engaging opportunity for all users.
What might be the ramifications of this long-term?