Google deal for map app Waze attracts FTC antitrust review

Web giant confirms agency's investigation of its $1.1 billion acquisition of the map app, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
Expertise I have more than 30 years' experience in journalism in the heart of the Silicon Valley.
Steven Musil
Waze's mobile navigation app.
Waze's mobile navigation app. Waze

Google has reportedly been contacted by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission regarding its $1.1 billion acquisition of map-app maker Waze.

The Web giant confirmed that it had been contacted by the agency but declined to comment on the antitrust review, according to a Wall Street Journal report Saturday. The paper noted that while Waze's revenue was not high enough to automatically trigger a review, the agency has the option of examining deals even after they close.

CNET has contacted Google and the FTC for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

The deal for the Israel-based startup, which Google announced earlier this month, is expected to help the Web giant improve its own mapping services and further distance itself from competitors like Facebook and Apple.

The company apparently gained Google's attention after the Web giant learned that Facebook was in talks to buy it for as much as $1 billion. However, Facebook and Waze reportedly called off acquisition talks last month after failing to reach an agreement

Founded in 2007, Waze makes a mobile application for getting directions and routing around traffic with the help of other drivers. The app, which is used by 47 million people in 193 countries, uses data provided by the people who use the maps. CEO Noam Bardin has said Waze is Google's only real competition on mobile.