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Google to pay $1.3B for Waze to stop Facebook and Apple gaining a maps foothold?

If you want awesome online maps, you're going to have to earn awesome online maps – at least, that's the motto that Google could write in the memo field of the cheque it might soon be sending to the makers of the crowd-sourced mapping application Waze.

The Israeli newspaper Globes reports that Google is nearing a $1.3 billion (£838 million) purchase of Waze. However, there don't appear to be any sources that have gone on record regarding the deal or, unfortunately, many additional details about the alleged almost-purchase.

Globes' report indicates that Waze's employees are expected to keep working in Israel – one of the sticking points that allegedly caused the talks between the company and Facebook to collapse.

TechCrunch reports that the Waze deal is reportedly going to be an all-cash acquisition and that Google will permit the company to continue operating in Israel for three years at minimum – after that, we shrug our shoulders as to what Google has in mind.

Mashable reports that CEO Norm Bardin will remain in charge of Waze and that the company itself will exist independently outside of Google – as in, don't expect the Waze brand to be shuttered and folded directly into Google Maps.

That said, it would certainly be interesting to see some kind of Waze tie-in within Google's existing (and popular) Maps apps. As to whether that would be Waze users fuelling the data or a new system where Google ties crowd-sourced map updates to Google+ users, we're all just speculating at the moment.

According to TechCrunch, Google might not be interested in the Waze technology as much as it's interested in keeping others from using Waze to establish more of a foothold in the online mapping space.

"By buying Waze, Google keeps competitors like Apple and others away from the easy out, which would be an acquisition of a company with already-working and reliable technology. With this deal, Google effectively blocks Apple and Facebook from even having a chance," TechCrunch reports.

And with Google allegedly opening up chats with Waze while Facebook was simultaneously negotiating with the company for a potential purchase, it just goes to show how big Google's elbows can be when it comes to preventing other companies from encroaching on its turf.

Representatives from Google and Waze have declined to comment on the alleged acquisition activities.