HERE maps to be sold to Audi, BMW and Daimler in €2.5bn deal

22 Jul 2015

If you plan on driving a German car in the near future, you might expect to see Nokia’s HERE maps guiding you on your way as talks near conclusion on a €2.5bn deal among Audi, BMW and Daimler to buy the mapping service.

Along with the three companies already mentioned, it is understood a unit of the Volkswagen division is also looking to get in on the deal to help improve their cars’ mapping capabilities ahead of a future where guidance could be crucial in an age of driverless cars.

This marks the latest purchase attempt for the mapping service owned by Microsoft as part of its Nokia acquisition, with Uber being the most recent interested party, but despite lodging a bid pulled out of the deal last month.

According to the Wall Street Journal, if the deal is concluded, the German manufacturers will open up the technology to other car manufacturers, including Toyota, Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Renault.

It is believed that the German manufacturers have feared that Nokia’s HERE mapping technology could end up with one of the three biggest players in tech – Google, Uber or Apple – losing them control of the tech that goes into their cars.

HERE maps has already had a strong association with the automotive industry, with half of its €970m revenue made in 2014 being sourced from the sector, and could now be looking to finally sort out its future by wrapping up this latest bid.

Speaking of the likelihood of this deal being concluded, a source within the company said: “The goal has always been to run the service as an open platform for everyone. The final signing could take place in the next few days.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic