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Google looking at buying Waze traffic app, report says

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Google is reportedly in talks to acquire Waze, a popular Silicon Valley mapping startup that gets its information by crowdsourcing from users.

Waze, which has managed to grab a loyal following in a market filled with giants that include Apple, Google and Nokia, is also talking with other suitors, including Facebook, according to Bloomberg. Waze is hoping to become the next startup purchased for more than $1 billion, but according to the report, no company has come close to sealing the deal.

The startup managed to certify its place in the mapping market late last year, after Apple released iOS 6 and simultaneously removed the longstanding Google Maps app while also introducing its own Apple Maps app, which was extremely unpopular with users. It took Google months to roll out another Google Maps app for iOS, and in the meantime, users flocked to other services. Waze became one of the top choices.

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Users on Waze can help each other find the best routes to their destinations by warning one another of any obstacles that may impede their way, such as traffic, accidents, construction and so on. The company makes money with location-based advertisements.

The report, which cites multiple anonymous sources, says Waze may also simply choose to remain independent and raise another round of funding.

Previously, Waze has been rumored to have been in talks with Apple, but the report says Apple is not involved in the current discussions.

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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