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Google Cuts Staff at Waze as It Merges Mapping App’s Advertising System With Google Ads Technology

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Alphabet-owned Google on Tuesday said it is cutting jobs at mapping app Waze as it merges the app’s advertising system with Google Ads technology, without giving details on the number of layoffs.

“In order to create a better, more seamless long-term experience for Waze advertisers, we’ve begun transitioning Waze’s existing advertising system to Google Ads technology. As part of this update, we’ve reduced those roles focused on Waze Ads monetization,” Google, which acquired Waze for about $1.3 billion (roughly Rs. 10,700 crore) in 2013, said.

Google had in December said that it will merge Waze and Google Maps teams to consolidate processes, making it a part of the Google Geo division, its portfolio of real-world mapping products that include Google Maps, Google Earth, and Street View.

The news was first reported by CNBC earlier in the day, citing an email from Chris Phillips, who leads the Geo division. He said Google will notify advertisers and partners about the move on Wednesday.

Earlier this year in January, Google parent Alphabet announced that it will eliminate 12,000 jobs. The cuts marked the latest to shake the technology sector and came days after rival Microsoft said it would lay off 10,000 workers.

The job losses affected teams across the company including recruiting and some corporate functions, as well as some engineering and products teams.

The news came during a period of economic uncertainty as well as technological promise, in which Google and Microsoft have been investing in a fledgling area of software known as generative artificial intelligence.

Sundar Pichai, Alphabet’s CEO, said in the note, “I am confident about the huge opportunity in front of us thanks to the strength of our mission, the value of our products and services, and our early investments in AI.”

Earlier this week Google urged India’s Supreme Court to quash antitrust directives against it for abuse of the Android market, two sources said, as its presses its legal battle against the competition watchdog in one of its most important markets.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) said in October that Google, whose Android mobile operating system powers 97 percent of the 600 million smartphones in India, had exploited its dominant position.

It ordered Google to remove restrictions imposed on device makers, including those related to the pre-installation of apps, and fined the US firm $163 million (nearly Rs. 1,300 crore), which it paid.

In March, an Indian tribunal gave partial relief to the Alphabet unit by setting aside four of the 10 directives in the case.

© Thomson Reuters 2023


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