Google has offered a number of concessions to the UK’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) as the business watchdog probes the search firm’s acquisition of Israeli social mapping service Waze.
The OFT announced its probe into the deal earlier this year to consider whether the wider mapping market could be affected by the deal, given the sheer scale of Google’s dominance in this sector. It decided to begin the investigation after its own in-house mergers team flagged the deal as worthy of scrutiny.
As it considers the case Google has offered a raft of concessions to the OFT. These include not integrating any aspect of Waze with Google and continuing to run the company as a separate unit under its own brand. Technological limitations were also set out in the document.
“Google hereby gives to the OFT the following undertakings: There is no integration of the information technology of the Waze business with the information technology of the Google business," it said.
"The respective software and hardware platforms of the Waze business and the Google business shall remain unchanged, except for routine changes and maintenance."
V3 contacted Google for a statement on the undertakings it has offered the OFT but had received no reply at the time of publication. A decision on the deal is expected from the OFT in mid-October.
The deal for the Israeli mapping company was announced in June, with Google paying $1.3bn for the firm. Since then the Federal Trade Commission in the US has already said it will investigate the deal, now followed by the OFT.
Although the OFT investigating a deal between a US and Israeli company seems odd, it regularly reviews such mergers, with Facebook’s deal for Instagram subject to scrutiny last year, before it was cleared.
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