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Google to buy Waze for $1.3 billion to bolster its maps lead, say reports

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After much competition and debate, it appears Google may have won the bidding war for popular maps and traffic company Waze — Israeli newspaper Globes reports that Google is paying $1.3 billion to acquire the Israel-based company. The report comes after months of back-and-forth, with Facebook, Apple, and Google all rumored to be angling to buy Waze, nearly always with billion-dollar price tags. Globes reports that a Facebook deal fell apart because of the price tag, and because Facebook wanted Waze to move its headquarters to California; Apple apparently never made an offer because the price was too high.

Google, on the other hand, appears to be a perfect fit. It has an office in Israel, a history of acquiring Israeli startups, and a fantastic mapping product that Waze will only help both from a talent and a data standpoint. Globes reports the deal isn't done yet, but is coming very soon — if it does close, it will add a handful of Waze employees into the newly-minted filthy-rich club.

Update: The Wall Street Journal has weighed in with a report of its own, saying that the deal could be confirmed this week. And Bloomberg is reporting on the deal as well, with a suggestions that the buying price may be closer to $1.1 billion.