Google has been contacted by the Federal Trade Commission over their $1.1 billion purchase of mobile mapping app Waze — sparking off an antitrust investigation into whether the deal would have negative effects on competition in the marketplace, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The search giant edged out Facebook to purchase the Israeli startup on June 11. In Google’s official announcement, they wrote of enhancing Google maps with Waze’s traffic update features, as well as using it to improve Google search.
Lawyers familiar with government antitrust investigations say the FTC may have asked Google not to integrate with Waze, pending its review.
The FTC would have to determine whether Waze would have become a head-to-head competitor with Google, whose Google Maps software is the dominant digital mapping and navigation service around the world, or whether there is any evidence, such as emails, that showed Google wanted to acquire the company only to keep it from rivals.
The FTC did not comment on the matter, and other than to confirm they had been contacted, Google also declined comment to WSJ.
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