The coalition of German carmakers — Audi, Daimler, and BMW — will acquire Nokia’s mapping unit, HERE, according to media reports.
The carmakers have reportedly agreed to pay about €2.5 billion ($2.71 billion), not quite the $3-4 billion figure mentioned in previous talks between the company and other buyers. Earlier in the month, the automakers had reportedly reached a hurdle in their negotiations with Nokia over the price and structure of the deal.
Other interested parties included Uber and China’s Baidu, and a group led by Chinese social network Tencent, though both dropped out of the race.
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Already customers of Nokia’s mapping business, the automakers had an advantage over other bidders. HERE provides mapping data to about 80 percent of cars with in-dash navigation systems in North America and Europe, as Bloomberg notes. Nokia built out this business unit largely through its acquisition of Navteq Corp. for $8.1 billion in 2008.
A backbone of self-driving cars, mapping technology is one of the key components car makers are currently focusing as they — and even tech giant Google — are looking ahead at next wave of cars. Though much of the buzz has been around Google’s driverless car project, traditional automakers, including Tesla, have publicly discussed plans for self-driving car technology.
The deal is expected to close soon, and be announced possibly as early as July 31, according to the Wall Street Journal.