According to Bloomberg and CNBC, Nokia has found a buyer for its HERE mapping unit. The company had sought as much as $4 billion for the platform. However, the reported purchase price is roughly $2.7 billion (€2.5 billion).
The winning (and perhaps only) bid was made by a German consortium of car manufacturers, which had always been reported among the interested parties. It includes BMW, Audi and Mercedes.
In a way, their effort to acquire the platform was defensive. The car companies use HERE Maps in their in-dash navigation systems, and they recognize mapping and navigation as a strategic asset for further development of self-driving cars.
HERE is the rebranded NAVTEQ, which Nokia bought in 2007 for more than $8 billion. Other companies that had been rumored to be involved in the bidding for HERE included Uber (which acquired some Microsoft mapping assets) and several Chinese companies. Yet it appeared that Nokia was struggling to sell the asset, which could explain the reduced purchase price.
Several outlets are reporting that the carmakers will operate HERE as an open platform. It remains to be seen exactly what that means and whether the German companies will continue to invest in HERE to maintain competitiveness with other mapping platforms such as Google Maps and Apple Maps.