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Nokia Here maps acquired by German car manufacturers

Nokia’s mapping and navigation software Here has been acquired by German car manufacturers Audi, BMW and Daimler.

The three rivals joined together to form a ‘consortium’ to buy Here Maps from Nokia for €2.8 billion. It is thought the reason is to stay relevant as the industry heads towards autonomous technologies that rely heavily on mapping data.

With analysts estimating the market for driver assistance features for cars reaching US$25 billion by the year 2020 and doubling to US$50 billion in 2025, it’s no wonder car manufacturers want the right tools for the job.

IHS senior analyst Kevin Hamlin told the Guardian: “It’s all about the battle for data. The car companies are being proactive so that when we get to autonomous vehicles they do not have to rely on Google or somebody else in Silicon Valley.

“They will already have their own service provider and will control the data,” he added.

Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri said: “With this step we complete the latest stage of Nokia’s transformation. We integrated the former Nokia Siemens Networks, divested our Devices & Services business, and have now reached agreement on a transaction for HERE that we believe is the best path forward for our shareholders, as well as the customers and employees of HERE. 

“Going forward, we will focus on our planned combination with Alcatel-Lucent. Once that is complete, Nokia will be a renewed company, with a world-leading network technology and services business, as well as the licensing and innovation engine of Nokia Technologies.”

Here maps will continue to be licensed to other car manufacturers as is the case now, according to the three companies.

Nokia is currently working towards a combination with Alcatel-Lucent. After the Here transaction is complete the Finnish company will consist of Nokia Networks (broadband infrastructure and services) and Nokia Technologies (advanced technology, development and licensing). 

Nokia was best known for making phones but it sold off that division to Microsoft in 2014. Here Maps can be downloaded on Android, iOS and Windows Phone devices for free.

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