The Federal Trade Commission is reviewing the recent acquisition of mapping service Waze by Google. The FTC would not normally be involved with an acquisition of a company with less than $100 million in revenue (Waze made $70 million last year) but there are potential antitrust issues at play with the US pressure group Consumer Watchdog alleging that Google “was able to muscle its way to dominance by unfairly favouring its own services”. Google is one of the largest and most dominant mapping companies in the world and CEO Noam Bardin has previously stated that Waze is Google’s “only real competition” which would probably be the reason that the FTC has decided to review the purchase.
The move was viewed by many at the time as a defensive purchase by Google to stop Apple and Facebook from buying the Waze to improve the mapping options offered by both companies. If the FTC decides that the sale cannot go through, any of the other parties interested in Waze could be in with a chance to purchase them and Google would most probably have to cover the shortfall in the price paid (if its purchase price of $1.03 billion isn’t matched by the new suitor).