Block Google’s Buyout of Waze, Group Tells Regulators

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Google's acquisition of Israeli maps and traffic data firm Waze should be blocked on antitrust grounds, according to Consumer Watchdog.

It is calling on regulators in the United States to block the billion dollar acquisition, writing to both the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) and to the Federal Trade Commission. The deal will require regulatory approval to go ahead.

"Google already dominates the online mapping business with Google Maps. The Internet giant was able to muscle its way to dominance by unfairly favoring its own service ahead of such competitors as Mapquest in its online search results," wrote John M. Simpson Consumer Watchdog Privacy Project Director.

"Now with the proposed Waze acquisition the Internet giant would remove the most viable competitor to Google Maps in the mobile space. Moreover, it will allow Google access to even more data about online activity in a way that will increase its dominant position on the Internet."

The consumer group even quoted Waze chief executive Noam Bardin describing Google as its "only competitor" at the All Thing's Digital conference last May.

"You should take Bardin at his word. Approval of the Waze deal can only allow Google to remove any meaningful competition from the market. It will hurt consumers and hinder technological innovation. If the acquisition comes before the you, I urge you to reject it in the strongest possible terms."

Read the letter to the DoJ at: (PDF)

Read the letter to the FTC at: (PDF)

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