Reports: Apple/Waze acquisition rumors fabricated
One day after TechCrunch reported that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was in advanced negotiations to acquire crowdsourced location services firm Waze, the publication posted a follow-up article stating the deal is not happening, an assertion backed by other media outlets.
Citing sources close to the talks, the original TechCrunch report stated Apple offered $400 million and another $100 million in incentives to acquire Waze, which supplies mapping and navigation data for the much-criticized Apple Maps platform for iOS. But other sources close to the situation have since told TechCrunch that no deal is in the works, with a source familiar with Apple's thinking telling CNet the original rumors are "fabricated." Both Apple and Waze have declined to comment.
It's worth noting that the Waze rumor followed just weeks after analyst Hans Slob of Rabobank International published an investor note speculating Apple could make a bid for navigation software developer TomTom. Saying there is a 30 percent chance Apple would pursue TomTom in an effort to improve and expand Apple Maps, Slob wrote "TomTom needs the cash from Apple, and Apple needs the know-how of TomTom," adding a takeover is a "royal way out" for TomTom's founders. The Wall Street Journal also has reported Apple is in discussions to integrate foursquare's local data into Maps for iOS.
It appears likely that additional rumors about Apple acquiring a location services firm could surface until the company clarifies its plans for overhauling Maps for iOS. Consumers have been harshly critical of Apple Maps, identifying dozens of inaccuracies, and the outcry prompted a public apology from Apple CEO Tim Cook, who said the company is "putting all of our energy into making it right."
"We've got a huge plan to make [Maps] even better," Cook said in a BusinessWeek interview published last month. "It will get better and better over time." Cook did not divulge specifics on that plan, nor did he reveal when consumers can expect the overhauled Apple Maps to become commercially available.
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