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FTC will review Google's acquisition of Waze

FTC will review Google's acquisition of Waze

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Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal report that the Federal Trade Commission will review Google's estimated $1.03 billion acquisition of mapping service Waze — a Google Maps competitor. While the Journal says that Waze's revenue was too low to trigger an automatic review of the deal, Google is the dominant player in maps, and some attorneys have speculated that Google's leadership could trigger an antitrust investigation. The deal is thought to be a defensive move by Google based on the quality of Waze's mapping databases, which use crowdsourcing to add context to maps. Both Facebook and Apple reportedly were interested in Waze. News of the review was first reported by The New York Post.

The FTC has been active in pursuing antitrust reviews lately, including scrutiny of Google's search product. In January, the FTC reached a settlement with Google over its potentially-skewed search results and accusations that the company misused its Motorola patent portfolio to stunt competition. Most preliminary antitrust reviews are closed without issue, but Google's high-profile presence in mapping could lead to a more rigorous probe.

Update: The AP reports that Google paid a total of $966 million for Waze. The total was disclosed in the company's regulatory filings.