Bidding war? Google reportedly in talks to buy Waze for $1 billion following interest from Facebook

wazeFollowing recent reports suggesting Facebook was in talks with mapping and navigation company Waze, it now appears Web giant Google is also interested, a situation that could result in the kind of bidding war of which startup founders must surely dream.

According to a Bloomberg report Thursday, Israel-based Waze, which was founded six years ago, is seeking over a $1 billion in any possible deal, and with two titans like Google and Facebook reportedly sniffing around, who’s to say it won’t happen. And if Waze plays its cards right, the figure could go even higher.

Bloomberg added in its report that, according to people familiar with the matter, the startup could also remain independent and instead attempt to raise a second round of venture capital financing.

A report earlier this month claimed Facebook was in talks with Waze over a possible acquisition as the social networking giant looks at ways of increasing the amount of time users spend on its site. Gartner research director Brian Blau suggested to the New York Times recently that Facebook could also use Waze’s data – which is pulled from drivers’ smartphones when they’re on the road – to “deliver contextual advertising” based on user location. However, Thursday’s news indicates that Google also has plans for Waze.

Whether the Mountain View company is considering using Waze’s technology to help enhance its own map-based offerings, or simply wants to acquire it to prevent rival Facebook from getting its hands on it, remains to be seen. It could, of course, be a combination of both.

Waze’s mobile app pulls together community-generated information sent from drivers’ mobile devices, using the data to provide travel updates and ideal routes according to road conditions at the time. Waze’s social element also makes it easy for “commuting buddies” to keep in touch with one another and share information.

The iOS and Android app has almost 47 million active users and has managed to more than double its user base in the last year alone.

Product Review

The 2019 Volvo V60 proves it's still cool to drive a station wagon

With the 2019 V60, Volvo argues the station wagon segment isn't as moribund as most other automakers say it is. The company goes as far as arguing we're on the cusp of a wagon revival, and the V60 is poised to lead the charge.
Mobile

Samsung CEO says its foldable phone will double as a tablet

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years now and a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy F, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Photography

Apple acquisition points to possibility of easy background removal in photos

According to a Danish newspaper, Apple now owns a company that uses machine learning to remove or replace the background on photos and videos. Spektral's website says it is working to bring the A.I. background removal to smartphones.
Cars

Waymo sees improvements ahead as its self-driving fleet logs 10 million miles

Waymo's fleet of self-driving cars has crossed the 10 million-mile mark. The company isn't resting on its laurels; it has outlined the improvements it wants to make over the next 10 million miles.
Mobile

Put your iPad Pro to the test with these great games

Did you recently purchase a 10.5-inch iPad Pro, or are you enjoying the 12.9-inch version? If so, we've rounded up a few of the best iPad Pro games currently available on Apple's mobile platform.
Mobile

Got gadgets galore? Keep them charged up with the 10 best USB-C cables

If you weren't already aware, USB-C is quickly becoming mainstream. That's why we've rounded up some of the better USB-C cables on the market, whether you're looking to charge or sync your smartphone.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Photography

Adobe's "creativity conference" begins October 15. Here's what we hope to see

Each year, Adobe uses its Adobe MAX conference to show off its latest apps, technologies, and tools to help simplify and improve the workflow of creatives the world over. Here's what you should expect from this year's conference.
Mobile

Here’s how to set up an alternate appearance for Face ID

Would like to add a second face for your iPhone FaceID? Maybe your face looks different at work, or you have a loved one that you want to be able to unlock your phone. Here's how to set up an alternate appearance for Face ID.
Emerging Tech

Here’s all the best gear and gadgetry you can snag for $100 or less

A $100 bill can get you further than you might think -- so long as you know where to look. Check out our picks for the best tech under $100, whether you're in the market for headphones or a virtual-reality headset.
Mobile

OnePlus charges into U.K. carrier stores, leaving online-only start in the past

OnePlus's next phone, the OnePlus 6T, will be more widely available than any OnePlus phone before it, as the company has announced major deals with retailers in the U.K. The device launches on October 30.
Mobile

The Palm has been revived, and it wants to help you limit your smartphone usage

A reboot of the classic Palm is finally here and it's tiny. It syncs to your phone and acts as a secondary device -- with a feature to help you disconnect from technology. At $350, the Palm will be available exclusively through Verizon.
Product Review

The all-new Palm wants to be many things, but it’s really just a tiny smartphone

The all-new Palm is here, and it’s tinier than ever. Exclusive to Verizon, it syncs to your primary smartphone and acts as a secondary device -- with features to help you disconnect from technology. But at $350, is it worth the high price…
Photography

Adobe is bringing Photoshop to the iPad and, eventually, other tablets

A full version of Photoshop is coming to the iPad -- and soon, other tablets, as well. Adobe also launched several new features for Photoshop and Lightroom, including a new Content-Aware Fill tool.