US Internet company Google is in advanced talks to acquire Israel-based tech firm Waze, several newspapers have reported. Waze is a GPS navigation system for smart phones that was also in the focus of Facebook and Apple.
Internet search engine Google and Israeli company Waze were in negotiations to finalize a deal worth at least $1 billion (757 million euros), Israeli media reported Sunday.
The two companies had agreed terms and were about to sign for a price exceeding $1 billion, Haaretz daily newspaper wrote on its website. Business daily Globes said the purchase price was $1.3 billion, adding that Google outbid Apple and Facebook in the race to buy the GPS mobile navigation appfor smart phones manufactured by Waze.
The agreement called for Google to pay the full amount in cash, as well as keep Waze's research and development center in Israel for at least three years, Haaretz said without identifying its source.
"Waze will retain its independent identity both as a company and as a brand," the newspaper wrote, adding that Facebook had sought to include the company into its headquarters in California.
The company has about 100 employees in Israel and 47 million users of its navigation software.
Neither Google nor the Israeli company would confirm or comment on the deal, following requests by several news agencies.
uhe/msh (AFP, dpa, Reuters)