Nokia Here, a mapping system that has emerged as a serious rival to Google Maps, is reportedly close to being acquired. The Wall Street Journal reports that Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler are planning to jointly purchase Nokia Here for $2.7 billion.
The deal is contingent on intellectual property issues, according to Reuters: Nokia does not want to relinquish all of the patents for its mapping technology, particularly those related to how self-driving cars use real-time data to navigate.
The automakers expect to ask other large auto companies to invest in Nokia Here if all goes well, thus preempting the efforts of Google and Apple to make in-car navigation reliant on their respective mapping services. Nokia, which has invested heavily in Here’s technology, is in the difficult position of having built one of the world’s best mapping platforms while its core business, phones, slipped out of its grasp.
Uber was well-positioned to acquire Nokia Here: The ride-hailing service, along with companies like Facebook and Alibaba, had allegedly thrown its hat in the ring, but lost out to the German carmakers. Instead, Uber recently acquired mapping technology from Microsoft.
[via the Wall Street Journal]