It appears that three different parties are competing for Nokia’s map technology. The interested parties include a partnership between Baidu and Uber, a consortium German carmakers, and Tencent out of China. However, the CEO of the Finish company, Rajeev Suri has publicly stated that Nokia is not in any rush to sell Here, its mapping services unit. The interest for the technology has been ramping up, but it seems that they are waiting it out fore even higher bids.
Whichever party does pony up for the Here technology could gain an upper hand in the next transformation within the auto industry. Mapping technology is currently valued at such a premium because it is absolutely essential in developing driverless car technology and products.
Here is considered to be the best technology on the market, but TomTom and, obviously, Google Maps make up their chief competitors.
Nokia has been shopping Here around the open market for over a month now, and has received bids as high as $3 billion. Here, which boasts international offices in both Chicago and Berlin, stems from Navteq. Nokia purchased the American firm Navteq in 2008 for more than $6 billion.
The group made up of German automobile manufacturers including Audi, BMW, and Daimler have teamed up the General Atlantic to make a bid at some point in the middle of May. Nokia leadership is expected to make a final decision regarding this bid in June.
Uber and Baidu have teamed up to make an offer of $3 billion for the mapping system. Industry experts believe Uber is interested in the tech so it can begin deploying driverless taxis on streets across the world. If successful, Uber would eliminate many costs associated to its drivers.
Here possesses several intriguing products for its suitors including a feature called HD Live Map, a cutting edge HD mapping serve. Furthermore, the Here team is in the midst of creating a system that can learn from people’s actual driving habits.
Industry analysts believe that Here will earn more than $650 million in 2015 alone. This number is more than ten-fold high than that of TomTom’s expected revenue.