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Google buys Waze and puts the squeeze on Facebook and Apple

Sharon Gaudin | June 13, 2013
With Google set to buy app-maker Waze, the question is whether Google actually needs the crowd-sourced traffic app or is simply trying to stick it to its competitors.

"Waze is a highly social application with more than 50 million users," said Olds. "Google doesn't need more users. It has plenty of them. But what it wants is more interaction between users and more highly involved users. This gives them a treasure trove of data that they can monetize in various ways."

He said Google could have built its own version of the Waze app, but with deep pockets it's easy to simply buy what it needs.

"I think that Google is constantly looking at the landscape when it comes to new features and build-vs.-buy decisions," said Olds. "I think that buying Waze is the more attractive option because the Waze app is already working and highly popular."

 

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