Nokia has announced that it has sold its Here Maps division to a consortium of German car makers for €2.8 billion (AUD$4.2 billion).
The consortium, which include AUDI AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG (the “Consortium”), represent the German cars market as a whole. It was originally understood that Uber was interested in the mapping business, after Nokia announced it would be exploring ways of unloading Here Maps.
Rajeev Suri, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nokia, has said that:
With this step we complete the latest stage of Nokia’s transformation. We integrated the former Nokia Siemens Networks, divested our Devices & Services business, and have now reached agreement on a transaction for HERE that we believe is the best path forward for our shareholders, as well as the customers and employees of HERE. Going forward, we will focus on our planned combination with Alcatel-Lucent. Once that is complete, Nokia will be a renewed company, with a world-leading network technology and services business, as well as the licensing and innovation engine of Nokia Technologies.
New owners VW, Daimler and Mercedes all have their built-in navigation systems powered by Here, Samsung too has partnership of sorts with Nokia, with Here maps available as an app ‘stub’ on select Galaxy mobile phones and tablets. Microsoft also are a partner, with Here maps on Windows Phones.
It is unclear in the long term, what this deal will mean to its navigation apps both on Google Play and Samsung Galaxy Apps Store (alongside its Microsoft mobile phones apps) with the car makers nor Nokia releasing any information on this subject during their press announcements or on the Nokia Here 360 Blog. With a large purchase, the deal is subject to the usual regulatory approval, but this acquisition is likely to go through sometime later this year.