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German Car Manufacturers Might Acquire Nokia’s HERE Maps Business

May 8, 2015 - Written By Dennis Patrick

Google is a massive company and it could get even bigger if they purchase Nokia’s maps business known as HERE. So far, there are a few interested companies on making the purchase for Nokia’s map business one of which happens to three companies joining forces against Google. Apparently, it turns out that three of the German car manufacturers are going in together as they fear Google could progress within the auto industry causing more competition.

German automobile manufacturers, Audi, BMW, and Daimler are banning together with Baidu to purchase Nokia’s maps business. Nokia recently announced that they were reviewing their strategic options in which they are also interested in selling off their maps business called HERE thus we have several companies interested in making bids. Originally Nokia had purchased the map provider Navteq Corp in 2008 for $8.1 billion though today the business is valued around $2.1 billion meaning the assets have lost value.

As mentioned above, it’s reported that the German automobile manufacturers are afraid that with this map business, Google will be able to make a takeover within the auto industry. Because Google uses digital maps for development with self-driving cars, the company could use the business to further create a unique operating system for these self-driving cars. While this would seem harmless enough, Google could potentially give away the operating system for free.

Take, for example, the Android operating system. Google purchased Android and then in return released the operating system under an open source license. Because the Android operating system was free, anyone was able to develop a smartphone around the OS. The result was that Android became a huge success with the OS holding over 80% of the market share during the first quarter of this year.

There are more contenders on making bids for Nokia’s HERE maps business besides the German automobile manufacturers and Google. For instance, Uber is also interested in HERE. Uber is a service that allows consumers to request a driver similar to taking a taxi although the difference is that consumers can pick the driver and see their reviews right on a smartphone app. While unconfirmed, it is rumored that Uber alone had made a bid of $3 billion to Nokia, $1 billion more than what the business is valued at. We’ll have to wait and see just which company manages to purchase the business from Nokia and it’s speculated that we’ll get that answer by the end of this month.