“Google Inc. is on the cusp of paying more than $1 billion for navigation and traffic application Waze Inc., said a person familiar with the negotiations, as the Internet giant looks to boost its own navigation offerings around the world,” Amir Efrati reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“The deal, which would be Google’s fourth-largest by dollar value, could be announced as soon as this week, the person said,” Efrati reports. ” It would bring an end to months of talk surrounding the fate of the five-year-old Waze, which attracted other suitors including Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc., people familiar with those discussions have said.”

Efrati reports, “One person familiar with the deal talks said that Waze could remain as a stand-alone app, and its most valuable data could be integrated separately with Google’s own existing maps. Likewise, information from Google Maps could be integrated with Waze, this person said… Apple last year introduced Apple Maps for its own mobile devices, in part by relying on mapping data from companies including Waze, which specializes in showing people shortcuts and routing them around traffic jams and accidents while they’re driving. It is unclear how a Google deal for Waze would affect such relationships. Additionally, given Google’s strength in the digital mapping market, a deal for Waze might draw extra scrutiny from antitrust regulators in the U.S. and abroad.”

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