Three of Germany’s top carmakers – Audi, Daimler and BWM have agreed to buy Nokia’s HERE maps service, in a deal said to be worth around $2.71 billion, a report said on Tuesday.
German carmakers acquire Nokia maps
Nokia has been talking to the three companies and an agreement is said to be in the works “in the next few days” according to the Wall Street Journal. The companies involved however are also expected to invite other car companies to buy stakes in the new entity.
“The goal has always been to run the service as an open platform for everyone”, said the WSJ source.
Uber was also apparently interested in buy Nokia’s maps service but gave up bidding several weeks ago. Private investors are also said to have been exploring an acquisition.
Even though a takeover of HERE would give the companies a user friendly mapping platform without relying on Google or Garmin, for example, the ultimate aim may be self driving vehicles which need a close integration of maps, control and sensors.
Several companies – notably Google, have been working on self-driving cars, and have said they want them on the market by 2020, on their own or in partnership with others. Another rumoured example which Apple, believed to be working on its own car project codenamed Titan. Just this week, Apple hired another car industry stalwart, for unknown purposes.
UPDATE: a typo was corrected on 31st July, changing $2.71 million to $2.71 billion.