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Google dishes up suspected $1.3B to purchase Waze traffic app

Google has officially purchased crowd-sourced traffic app Waze, the company announced in a blog post.

"To help you outsmart traffic, today we're excited to announce we've closed the acquisition of Waze," Brian McClendon, vice president of Google Geo, wrote.

The Waze product development team will operate separately for now, remaining at its home base in Israel.

"Nothing practical will change here at Waze," CEO Noam Bardin wrote in a separate blog post. "We will maintain our community, brand, service and organization."

Reports about Google buying Waze emerged in May, with speculation that the tech giant was gunning for a deal to "prevent [Waze] from falling into the hands" of rival Facebook, Reuters said.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed, but earlier reports tipped the purchase at $1.3 billion (£831 million).

"Larry Page, Brian McClendon and the Google Maps teams have been following our progress closely and are excited about what we've accomplished," Bardin wrote. "They share our vision of a global mapping service, updated in real time by local communities, and wish to help us accelerate."

A year ago, Waze celebrated a major milestone when it passed 20 million users in just four years; its membership base doubled from 10 million to 20 million in the first six months of 2012.

At I/O, Google unveiled a revamped and more personalised Maps, which is currently in beta.