Battle to buy Here maps is heating with Uber’s $3 billion bid
Few days back, it was reported that Nokia was considering to sell its Here maps unit. Later, we also reported how Facebook has started integrating Here maps in its mobile apps. Now, an interesting report came confirming Uber’s $3 billion bid on Nokia’s Here maps. No only Uber, few other auto companies are also interested in buying Here maps.
Yesterday, WSJ also reported that Germany’s three biggest premium-brand automakers: BMW AG , Audi AG , and Mercedes-Benz are also preparing to bid on Here unit to buy majority of stakes. Chinese search engine Baidu is also interesting in bidding on Here maps. Yahoo, Samsung and Tencent are also few other bidders.
Uber is now working on self-driving cars. So, it know the importance of maps. As we know that Google is already into self-driving cars, so using Google maps will not be good for Uber. Uber uses Google Maps data in its apps for its drivers and riders. So, buying a mapping service will make it independent from Google. Not only Uber, german auto companies are also testing self-driving cars that rely on Here’s navigation technology. Here maps is one of the biggest competitors of Google maps. This is the reason why most of the companies are now taking interest into it.
Few days back, it was also reported that Facebook wanted to buy Here maps. Later, it started integrating Here maps into its mobile apps. So, we can also think that there might be some quite bid from Facebook too. Previously, Microsoft also took interesting in Here maps.
Nokia’s Here maps is seeing good bidders. So, the deal will surely go high. Nokia is also expected to announce the sale of its mapping unit by the end of May.
Nokia’s Here maps division dominates in automobile mapping in which Google and Apple both are struggling. It holds around 80 percent of global market share for built-in car navigation systems. This is also the reason why Here maps unit is very important for auto-companies and specially for Uber.
Here unit reported yearly revenue of $1.1 billion in 2004 which was less than 8 percent of Nokia’s total sales in 2014. Nokia spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year to update and maintain the mapping data. HERE was originally called as Navteq, which Nokia bought for $8.1 billion in 2007. Now it has around 6,000 employees in 200 offices around the world.
Now, Nokia wants to cut the cost and this may be the reason it is in search for potential buyers. Response is also very good and in coming days, we will see more high bids for Nokia’s Here maps unit.We guess that the bid will go up to $6 billion because of high competition.