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Google brings more real-time traffic reports to Maps, courtesy of Waze

Zach Miners | Aug. 21, 2013
The new features build on Google's previous acquisition of the mapping developer.

More integrations between Google Maps and Waze are on the way, Google's McClendon said, though he declined to name specific features Google's current plan is to continue to operate Google Maps and Waze as separate apps, a Google spokeswoman said.

Besides making its mapping products more comprehensive from a navigation perspective, Google also faces mounting pressure to monetize products on mobile as more people migrate away from desktop PCs in favor of mobile devices. To boost Maps' revenue, earlier this month Google announced some additional advertising features for the app. For instance, some ads for local businesses will now appear at the bottom of the screen after a user performs a search.

A Google spokeswoman said the company had nothing else to announce regarding future advertising plans for either the Maps app or Waze.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, meanwhile, launched a probe in June into possible antitrust issues stemming from Google's acquisition of Waze. The FTC is looking into the issue of whether Google, a dominant player in online mapping, swallowed one of its most viable competitors.

It is unclear how Tuesday's integration could impact that investigation. But there may not be space right now for another large-scale competitor, said IDC's Jackson. The only other strong player may be Nokia, which could provide some competition through its Here business unit for mapping and location services, he said. Tuesday's integration is not good news for companies like Apple and Facebook, he said.

"We continue to work with the FTC to answer their questions," the Google spokeswoman said.

The FTC could not be immediately reached to comment on the investigation in light of Tuesday's integration.

 

 

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