Market Overview

Would Uber Buy Nokia's Here Mapping Service For $3 Billion?


Nokia Corporation (NYSE: NOK) has already indicated it is exploring a sale of its mapping business, Here, which has drawn interest from automakers including Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. At the same time, The New York Times reported that Uber may also be entering a potential bidding war.

The German-based automakers already rely on Nokia's technology for its autonomous vehicle research. The companies are reluctant to use Google Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL)'s Google Maps as Google is working on an autonomous vehicle of its own.

Meanwhile, Uber continues to position itself as a logistics company with a potential long-term strategy of using its fleet of drivers to deliver products (in addition to passengers) within cities.

Uber received financial backing from Google, but recent reports suggested Google is looking to develop its own competing taxi-sharing service, a sign that Uber may be forced to acquire Here and have its own in-house mapping service.

Google Maps is the clear winner in the mapping space with an estimated one billion mobile users, or about 10 times the amount of Here's smartphone users. However, Here holds a greater than 80 percent global market share for built-in car navigation systems, and spends hundreds of millions of dollars on an annual basis to update its maps worldwide.

The New York Times noted that with Here under Uber's control, the company will gain a "rich trove" of mapping data that can complement its already existing mapping initiatives and its own online information.


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Posted-In: autonomous vehicles Google Maps HERE Mapping New York TimesNews Rumors Tech