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August 2, 2016

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Verizon set to expand into GPS tracking

VERIZON Communications Inc said it would buy GPS vehicle tracking company Fleetmatics Group Plc for about US$2.4 billion in cash to expand into the connected vehicle and fleet management market.

Verizon, the No. 1 US wireless company, will pay US$60 per Fleetmatics share, a premium of about 40 percent to Friday's close. The deal is set to close in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Fleetmatics, which has its North American headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts, develops software that shows fleet operators vehicle location, fuel usage, speed and mileage, and other data on their mobile workforce, Verizon said.

As the market for smartphones and mobile devices gets saturated, Verizon and its biggest rival AT&T Inc are hoping that connecting more objects from vehicles to appliances to their networks will provide new revenue.

In May, Fleetmatics posted total revenue of US$78.9 million for the first quarter, up 21 percent from a year earlier.

Fleetmatics has developed "compelling" software and solutions for small- and medium-sized businesses, said Andrés Irlando, CEO of Verizon's Telematics unit, in a statement. The unit connects vehicles to its wireless network and offers applications to track and manage them, he said.

In July, Verizon closed a deal to buy California-based Telogis, which builds software to track commercial vehicles and navigation software used by automakers such as Ford Motor Co. Terms were undisclosed.

Last week, Verizon, which has been seeking to add new revenue streams, said it would buy Yahoo Inc's core Internet assets for US$4.8 billion.


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