Earlier this month it seemed as if Facebook (NASDAQ: FB ) would be buying Waze, the fast-growing traffic app that uses crowdsourcing to deliver breaking news on traffic tie-ups and speed traps. Facebook was reportedly willing to pay $800 million to $1 billion for the Israeli-based company.
Well, now chatter finds Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) potentially interested in Waze.
Can we get some navigation tips to get around Waze's headquarters? Things seem to be getting a bit busy with gentleman callers on its porch.
Facebook and Google have the money to complete the deal. They also have the resources to whip up their own Waze knockoff. The problem there is that Waze already has 47 million active users worldwide submitting real-time information to help out their fellow drivers. Why compete against Waze -- and probably lose this game of numbers -- when you can buy it?
Would Google be a better fit than Facebook? That's not the point. At its very core, Google's interest may be primarily to keep Facebook away. Facebook is already siphoning away search traffic and online time. If it wins over the mobile crowd, it will become an even fiercer competitor.
Watch this battle. It will get interesting.
Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.
- 8x8 (NASDAQ: EGHT ) moved higher after posting better-than-expected revenue growth in its latest quarter. The provider of PBX telephony, video conferencing, and other Web-based communication services did miss on the bottom line, but it was still another period of margin expansion and explosive earnings growth.
- SodaStream (NASDAQ: SODA ) popped to a fresh 52-week high last week after its well-received Analyst Day, but an analyst this week was feeling more flat than fizz on the company behind the carbonated beverage maker system. J.P. Morgan downgraded the stock but also boosted its price target from $56 to $70 to keep pace with the bubbly share price.
- Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA ) continues to do all of the right things. The electric-car maker on Wednesday wired a payment that zeroes out the federal loan it received four years ago. Tesla claims to be the first American company to fully repay its government loan, but Chrysler disputed the claim. Take it outside, you two.
Tech battles can be profitable for investors
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