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HERE Maps Deal With German Auto Brands Could Be Close

July 23, 2015 - Written By Justin Diaz

Nokia’s HERE maps is a favorite with many users for a number of reasons. Fully downloadable maps of entire countries for offline use being a major one. Android users were happy to see the app finally come to the Play Store, and in the future it may even come to in-car dash navigation systems with various auto makers. Over the last few months it’s been rumored that German auto makers Daimler AG, Audi, and BMW may be interested in buying Nokia’s HERE maps for use inside their vehicles, which started after a Nokia executive hinted at Nokia possibly being interested in selling off their HERE maps division. Nokia also made it clear that they were in no hurry to sell HERE maps and would wait for “high-quality” bids.

The latest details suggest those high-quality bids may be coming from previously listed German auto makers. With Google’s Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay entering the auto space in the near future having already received agreements from various auto manufacturers to build the units into newer vehicles, Daimler AG, Audi, and BMW are worried about the amount of data which could be collected by both Google and Apple through the connected car units. They aren’t alone either, as other auto makers seem to share the same concerns. It’s these concerns which are said to have led the three major German car manufacturers to agree “in principle” on a joint plan to buy Nokia’s HERE maps, which is rumored to be near completion with an offer bid of roughly $2.7 billion.

Should the deal go through the plan is said to also include an invitation to other auto makers to invest in HERE maps’ technology to create a network of manufacturers which will offer a possible alternative to Google and Apple’s new in-car units. This would allow those companies to keep from sharing any data at all with the tech giants, and give them an opportunity to either monetize the data without sharing those profits or to keep customers data more private. It’s still early and there could end up being no deal at all if Nokia isn’t happy with the bid pricing.