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UK competition regulator isn't very happy about Google's Waze acquisition

Concerned about maps monopoly
Wed Aug 28 2013, 13:26
Google maps for android public transport 2

UK COMPETITION WATCHDOG the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is looking into Google's buyout of Waze, apparently worried that it might impact competition in the mapping services market.

In a brief notice published at its website, the OFT announced, "The Office of Fair Trading is considering whether this agreement has resulted in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 and, if so, whether the creation of that situation has resulted, or may be expected to result, in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services."

Google announced its purchase of the Israeli crowd-sourced mapping app company Waze on 12 June.

Over the years, Google has invested heavily in geographic services, from Google Earth to the controversial Google Street View. With the firm's Google Maps and Navigation service being one of the most popular applications on Android and also rival mobile platform Apple iOS, it is not surprising the firm was attracted to the real-time data generation that Waze users provide.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is already looking into the transaction and its implications for competition in the market for online maps services.

The OFT invited members of the public to submit comments regarding "any competition or public interest issues". µ



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