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Facebook Waze acquisition off - or is it?

AllThingsD is reporting that Facebook's negotiations to acquire Waze have fallen through.

I definitely think that this is too bad.  As I wrote previously, this acquisition seemed like a great one for everyone.

But here's my speculation: I'm not convinced the negotiations are really off.

First, there have been rumors of Waze acquisition talks 3 or 4 times in the past year or so.  Each time the rumors have simply faded away, until the next rumors started.  This time the press is being told that the negotiations have fallen apart.  This, in and of itself, is a change.

Second, I'm guessing, or maybe hoping, that it's a tactic that one side is using in the negotiations, and that they're still working to reach a deal. In other words, it may be brinksmanship.

Third, I still think that Waze would be more strategic, more transformational, for Facebook, than for other potential acquirers.

Fourth, with the claim that the deal fell apart because of differences of opinion as to the Waze team's staying in Israel or moving to California, that's a bridgeable issue.  Most high-tech companies have R&D centers in the so-called Startup Nation, many based on M&A. If Facebook wants to add social location to its mix, and up the ante on its innovation, this should be a deal-maker, not a deal-breaker.

Of course, all this may be wishful thinking.  See here why I'm a fan of the acquisition, here for thoughts on Google's acquiring Waze, and here for why I like Waze in the first place.  Even if the talks are off, new acquisition rumors will come soon, because Waze is bound to be acquired.  Will it be by Facebook? I'm still optimistic.

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