Google has been the top dog when it comes to mapping software for quite a while now, which is why the Federal trade commission is looking to investigate the search giant after it bought up Israeli startup, Waze, the popular smartphone app that used inputs from users to offer live traffic and road condition updates.
As The Telegraph points out, while Waze isn’t earning enough to be given an automatic investigation, the fact that Google spent $1 billion (£650 million) on it, further cornering the map market, is worth looking into as it smells like a monopoly is in the works.
Purportedly Google bought up Waze after learning that software rivals Facebook and Apple were considering their own offers. However, if true, that FTC could rule that sort of action as anti-competitive, which is dealt with heavy-handedly across the pond. Indeed the FTC has some of the most powerful anti-trust legislation in the world to back it up, with regulators given the ability to fine the organisation(s) involved, break up the company, force obligations on the way the businesses are run or even send those involved to jail in the most extreme circumstances.
With this in mind, the commission will be looking into whether Waze would ever have become a legitimate competitor for Google and whether the search giant bought it out to augment its own services, or simply to stop Waze or another company from competing directly with it.
KitGuru Says: Waze has drummed up a pretty good reputation since its inception. Are any of you fans of the app?