Google promises to keep Waze separate as OFT probe continues

For now, the satnav app won't be integrated into Google Maps, due to OFT restrictions.

Google acquired satnav app Waze back in June, but here in the UK the deal is being investigated by the Office of Fair Trading. The OFT is worried Google will be too dominant in the mapping market, seeing as its Maps app already comes preinstalled on new Android devices. So Google has promised to make a few concessions, at least until the investigation is complete.

For now, it'll keep Waze as a separate company, run under its own brand, and it won't integrate any aspect of it into Google -- though Waze's traffic alerts have already found their way into Google Maps. Google also set out some technical limitations in a document.

"Google hereby gives to the OFT the following undertakings: There is no integration of the information technology of the Waze business with the information technology of the Google business," it said in the document.

"The respective software and hardware platforms of the Waze business and the Google business shall remain unchanged, except for routine changes and maintenance," it went on.

Google paid $1.3 billion to acquire the Israel-based Waze. The deal was announced in June, and is being probed by the Federal Trade Commission in the US as well as the OFT here in Blighty.

Usually companies acquire smaller ones in order to integrate their technology into existing products. That's what Apple did with AuthenTec, for example, building its fingerprint recognition tech into the new iPhone 5S .

While neither Google nor Waze is a UK company, the deal could impact the market for maps apps on these shores, so the OFT is authorised to step in and scrutinise.

Would you like to see new satnav features come to Google Maps? What's your favourite mapping app? Mine is City Mapper, by the way -- check it out if you haven't yet. Let me know your thoughts below, or find your way over to our clearly-signposted Facebook page.

About the author

    Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.

     

    Join the discussion

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    Don't Miss
    Hot Products
    Trending on CNET

    HOT ON CNET

    Looking for an affordable tablet?

    CNET rounds up high-quality tablets that won't break your wallet.