Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) seems to have been left at the altar for good. It looked like a pretty done deal last winter that Facebook was going to make a major competitive play for Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) market share by adding some mapping capability to go along with its Graph Search rollout, which together were expected to be a formidable match for Google Search and Google Maps on some mobile devices. After all, Waze was the mapping and driving app that was taking Google maps to a new level with real-time updates on driving routes and directions based on people who were actually traveling the roads.
This was going to be the kind of deal that was going to give Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) a distinct mapping advantage over Google Maps because of the constantly live updating so that drivers know about construction, traffic delays, police enforcement zones, etc. For the sake of advertisers, it was going to be a home run to be on the Facebook platform, because Waze would have provided a localized alternative to Google Maps, which meant an opportunity for small mom-and-pop businesses to advertiser and perhaps gets some traffic because the business was in the area of a localized driving map.
Well all that talk suddenly crashed to the ground when it was announced that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) was not closing the deal for about $800 million because the folks at Waze walked away. And now, there is talk heating up that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is talking to Waze and is offering about $1 billion according to the latest reports, and Waze is considering its options whether to take the deal or perhaps stay independent and launch an IPO.
Yes, we were among the media who had egg on our faces, basically saying last winter this deal was pretty much done and it was a matter of a couple of “minor” sticking points. Well, it turned out that one of those sticking points was stickier than everyone imagined. But this was such a match made in heaven, you were probably thinking (like us): what in the world happened? Why did Waze walk away from Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)?
Some of the truth seems to have come out recently, as a report revealed that the prominent reason that Waze walked away from the Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) deal was a real-estate reason: location, location, location. It seems that the Waze staff, based in Israel, did not want to leave Israel and join the Facebook campus in Menlo Park. There was some talk that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was showing interest in Waze to have a bidding war with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), but Apple CEO Tim Cook dispelled that recently by saying that Apple was not making any active play for Waze. It had reportedly offered about $400 million for the app more than a year ago.
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