Germany’s big three looking for controlling stake in Nokia’s Here mapping service

BMW, Audi, and Mercedez Benz are set to launch a takeover bid for Nokia’s Here mapping division in a bid to stop one of Silicon Valley’s powerhouses getting there first.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the so-called big three are planning to acquire Here before the likes of Google, Facebook, and Apple are able to.

Citing people familiar with the situation, the Journal says that the automakers have banded together in a consortium which includes Chinese search giant Baidu for “considerably more than €2 billion.”

Formerly called Ovi Maps, Nokia Here already has a fairly strong position in the automative space and is currently used not only by BMW, Daimler, and the Volkswagen Group using the service, but Ford, GM, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, and Nissan/Renault.

It would therefore make sense for the parties involved in the consortium to keep it in the hands of automakers rather than someone in the tech space. Indeed, when it was first revealed that Nokia might be selling Here and that companies such as Facebook and Uber were interested, the German automakers threatened to stop using the service.

“The greatest threat to the automobile industry would be if Google developed an operating system for self-driving cars and made it available free to everyone,” said one source speaking with the WSJ. “We need the map for the operating system in the cars.”



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