Earlier this month it was widely reported that Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) was in advanced talks to buy crowdsourcing navigation and traffic report app Waze Ltd. for $1 billion. But now US website "AllThingsD" reports that sources close to the potential deal say that negotiations have broken down.
The bone of contention is reportedly where the Waze team and operations would be located after any acquisition. Facebook would want the Waze team to be located at their headquarters in Menlo Park, California while Waze wants to continue maintaining most of its operations at its Ra'anana headquarters in Israel.
"AllThingsD" correspondent Mike Isaac wrote, "Waze’s mobile application seemed like a logical acquisition target for Facebook, as Waze relies on crowdsourced traffic data, accident reports and police traps from its 40-million-plus user base to help drivers better navigate their road trips. While competitors Google and Apple both offer mapping services, Facebook currently does not offer any sort of maps app."
Waze is also reportedly in acquisition talks with Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) but Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: APPL) CEO Tim Cook said earlier this week that his company had made no bid for Waze.
However, "All Things Digital" still suggests that the deal between Facebook and Waze makes sense. "Buying a popular mapping service could have been another way for Facebook to push into mobile, complementing the social giant’s widely adopted photo and messaging applications."
"Moreover, Waze was built as a social application “from the ground up” - a philosophy Facebook especially espouses - rather than as a mapping application with a social layer slapped atop it. In essence, it fit with Facebook’s vision of a social service. So it wouldn’t be impossible for the two companies to figure out terms that make sense for both sides."
"AllThingsD" said that both Facebook and Waze declined to comment on the report.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 30, 2013
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