“German carmakers BMW, [Volkswagen AG’s Audi] and Mercedes, will pay around 2.5 billion euros ($2.8 billion) to buy Nokia’s maps business, beating out high-tech rivals for location services seen as key to the future of self-driving cars,” Edward Taylor and Eric Auchard report for Reuters.
“Germany’s three premium carmakers joined forces and will hold equal stakes in the business, known as HERE, clubbing together to keep the assets from falling into the hands of Internet rivals in Silicon Valley or China,” Taylor and Auchard report. “The deal has an enterprise value of 2.8 billion euros, including liabilities worth nearly 300 million euros, for which Nokia will compensate the carmakers, the Finnish company said on Monday. The transaction is likely to close in the first quarter of 2016.”
“The deal allows the auto makers to offer new premium features, like autonomous driving, in their luxury cars, shaking up the pecking order between car makers, their parts suppliers and software rivals like Uber, Google or Apple,” Taylor and Auchard report. “It is unclear how other HERE customers, including rival carmakers, may respond to Germany’s carmakers owning map technology, which many in the auto, Internet and logistics industries see as key to their own strategies. ‘There is a risk that the other automakers will be pushed further into the arms of Google,’ said Richard Windsor an independent financial analyst who tracks major tech players.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: The mapping race heats up! Anything that causes Apple’s already dramatically-improved Maps to continue improving is a good thing.
Nokia wants Apple to buy its money-losing HERE maps business – April 22, 2015
Nokia announces ‘HERE’ maps application for Apple’s iOS devices – November 13, 2012
Tim Cook open letter: We fell short with new Maps app; we are extremely sorry – September 28, 2012