Yesterday, we ran a big story: Is Apple Plotting A Route To A Waze Acquisition? Rumours On The Road Point To Yes. That’s huge news for a few reasons: Apple rarely makes startup acquisitions — Waze is a hot startup with good buzz — the Apple Maps fiasco — the list goes on. But there’s just one little problem: the deal isn’t actually happening.
That information comes from multiple sources close to the situation. And while Mike Butcher also claimed multiple sources in his original post, you’ll note that he was quick to qualify the information as a “rumor” (or in British parlance — Mike is English — a “rumour”). Because that’s exactly what it was. This isn’t a rumor (of a non-deal). There is no deal is happening. At least not now or anytime soon.
Does this mean Apple and Waze have never talked? Of course not. In fact, you can bet that they’ve spoken quite a bit since Waze is a partner that provides data for Apple’s mapping software. And it doesn’t even mean that they haven’t had some low-level conversations about some sort of bigger deal, maybe even an acquisition. But newsflash: big companies and small companies have these types of talks all the time. On a daily basis. And usually the end result is nothing beyond a “thanks for coming in” and sometimes even a “let’s continue talking”.
I’m not saying that’s what happened here necessarily — it does seem like there is a little too much smoke for there to be absolutely no fire. But if you think about it, the deal also doesn’t make as much sense as it may seem on the surface, at least from Apple’s perspective. A deal involving someone like Foursquare (also rumored) probably makes more sense.
What about deal manipulation? Couldn’t this just be one interested party trying to drive down (or up) the price? Always possible, but that’s why you get multiple sources. And according to the ones I spoke with, this deal just isn’t happening.