Nokia has been openly shopping its HERE maps business for quite some time now. While early reports suggested that Microsoft and Uber may have once had interest in the service, a new report suggests the unit will be sold to a conglomerate of German automakers who have also been interested.
The Wall Street Journal said Tuesday that Audi, BMW and Daimler have agreed to acquire Nokia’s HERE service and that an official announcement is expected in the coming days. The automakers agreed to pay about $2.71 billion, The Wall Street Journal said, noting that the automakers hope to allow other carmakers to license the software.
Why do these carmakers want Nokia HERE? Early reports suggested that they’re afraid of the grip that companies like Google have on the industry, and the risks moving forward if they don’t have maps for automated cars. If Google had complete control, it could license out its own services or software for automated software. Now, with HERE Maps, Audio, BMW and Daimler have the foundation needed to create a competing service.
Nokia has not yet confirmed the sale.