Google Buys Waze for More Than $1 Billion

Strategic move to stay ahead in smartphone maps race

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Google has purchased Israeli mapping startup Waze to the tune of $1.03 billion, in a strategic move to maintain its lead in mapping, one of the most vital smartphone features.

Waze is a social map app with real-time traffic information, allowing users to flag bad road or weather conditions to warn other drivers.

Waze owes much of its success to the failure of Apple Maps. Tim Cook recommended the app—as well as MapQuest, Bing and Google Maps—after last year's inauspicious Maps launch.

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