German automakers close to acquiring Nokia’s HERE Maps
At a time when Google has major developments in the self-driving car concept, and pretty much owns the most popular mapping platform in the world, it’s no surprise that automakers are worried over the company becoming a major competitor in the future. Google Maps may be free for consumers, but GPS tracking companies that use the service have to pay a pretty penny for the use of the maps. As a result, many automakers were inclined to use Nokia’s HERE Maps as an alternative over the last couple of years for their vehicle navigation systems, and given Nokia’s interest in selling, automakers have reacted.
German luxury car makers Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW AG have agreed in to bid €2.5 billion ($2.71 billion) to acquire Nokia’s HERE Maps services. Their plan is to outbid Silicone Valley bidders, as it seems that companies like Apple and Uber are interested in the mapping services as well. The deal hasn’t been confirmed yet, but if it goes through, a source familiar to the matter claims that these automakers plan to make this an open platform, and invite other companies like Fiat Chrysler, Renault, Ford, etc., to be part of the initiative. The source also claims that this would enable these companies to compete in a future with self-driving cars, given how robust Nokia’s HERE solutions already are.
The seal will reportedly be signed in the next few days. Let’s see how this evolves over time.