US advocacy group Consumer Watchdog voiced its opposition of Google’s acquisition of navigation app company Waze in a letter written to the US Department of Justice (DoJ).
John Simpson, privacy project director at the Consumer Watchdog, urged the organisation to block Google from buying Waze if the DoJ is charged with reviewing the deal.
In a letter to William Baer, assistant attorney general in the antitrust division of the Department of Justice, Simpson wrote: “Approval of the Waze deal can only allow Google to remove any meaningful competition from the market. It will hurt consumers and hinder technological innovation. If the acquisition comes before you, I urge you to reject it in the strongest possible terms.”
Simpson said Google already dominates the mapping business with Google Maps by favouring its service over competitors in online search results. By acquiring Waze, Simpson argued, Google would remove the most viable competitor to Google Maps in the mobile space.
The deal would also allow Google to gain access to even more data about online activity that could increase is dominance on the internet, Simpson added.
Google confirmed it had closed the anticipated deal to buy Waze earlier this week, with reports valuing the transaction at more than $1 billion. The Waze product development team is due to remain in Israel and will operate separately from Google “for now”.