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Google Set To Buy Israeli Startup Waze for $1 Billion

Google is set to acquire Israeli startup Waze, after the two firms recently agreed on most of their terms and are close to sealing the deal. The total purchase price exceeds $1 billion.

Sources said the agreement calls for the U.S. Internet search engine giant to pay the full amount in cash. In addition, Waze’s research and development center will remain in Israel for at least three years as will the company’s CEO, Noam Bardin. Waze will retain its independent identity both as a company and as a brand, they said.

The agreement comes about a week-and-half after talks between the Israeli company and Facebook collapsed, apparently over Waze’s insistence that its R&D operations remain in Israel. Facebook had sought to fold the company into its California headquarters.

Google’s interest in Waze stems principally from its aim of blocking Facebook’s growth. The search company operates its own navigation service that competes head on with Waze. It has invested heavily in its system, including the ambitious Google Street View database of images and satellite images.



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