A consortium of German car makers have supposedly agreed in principle to buy Nokia’s Here mapping service. Audi, BMW, and Daimler plan to purchase the Here for $2.7 billion (RM10.2 billion) and later invite other car manufacturers to invest in the company.
Nokia currently licenses the Here mapping data to about 80-percent of the automotive industry, and also contributes the data to companies like Microsoft, Yahoo, Samsung, Amazon, and Garmin. The reach of Here makes it one of the most important component for car makers who are increasingly looking towards self-driving cars.
The Wall Street Journal claims that the deal could be signed within the next few days, although that would only be the first step in the German group taking control of the mapping service. The plan to include other automobile makers is part of an effort to turn Here maps into an open platform for all car makers.
Nokia has been trying to sell the Here division since it bought rival Alcatel-Lucent in April. The company is taking a new direction by focusing on the telecommunications equipment aspect of its business. Despite this, there has been rumours of the company returning to the mobile devices market.
The Finnish company has already said that it would no longer be manufacturing its own devices, and instead will be licensing the Nokia trademark to third party manufacturers who meet their requirements.
[Source: Wall Street Journal]