After Nokia put its HERE Maps application on sale in April 2015, it seems like a deal will be struck very soon. Three luxury carmakers from Germany are interested in purchasing the application. Audi, which is a unit of Volkswagen AG, BMW AG and Daimler, Mercedez-Benz parent company have agreed to purchase the mapping application.
After several weeks of negotiations, Nokia is ready to sell the application for a sum of around $2.7 billion. The exact purchase price is yet to be revealed, but reports have already surfaced about a price that is reasonable for both sides. At one point, Uber was also interested in buying the application, for a price of $3 billion, but pulled out of negotiations few weeks ago.
According to the reports, the trio of German carmakers do not intend to keep the mapping application to themselves. On the contrary, Audi, Daimler and BMW intend to let other carmakers invest in the application.
HERE Maps is seen as an alternative to Google Maps and TomTom, two of the traditional navigation solutions. With the purchase, the vehicle manufacturers will be able to make their system.
Experts have praised the sale, as buying an existing product is a lot easier for carmakers than building a mapping application from scratch. Automakers were afraid that Google Inc might purchase HERE Maps after Nokia put the application to sale.
Mapping technology is vital for car companies as they intend to produce self-driving cars in the future.
Some other car companies that are expected to invest in the application include Renault, Peugeot Citroen, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co and Toyota Motor Corp.
HERE Maps accounted around $1.1 billion in sales from the auto industry in 2014. The profit that the application generates from other location-based service is nothing compared to what the auto industry pays. Nokia bought Navteq, a mapping service in 2008 for $8.1 billion and made the HERE Maps application out of it.
Google Maps dominates the market of smartphone users, but HERE Maps dominates automobile mapping which is the reason why car makers are eager to purchase the application. HERE Maps is present in 80% of built-in car navigation systems. HERE is based in Berlin, and employs more than 6,000 people. The HERE Maps unit reported a yearly revenue of $1.1 billion, which accounts for more than 90% of total sales by Nokia in 2014.