Nokia’s HERE mapping technology has now officially been sold to German automakers Audi, BMW and Daimler, according to a statement released by the Finnish company. The sale is valued at €2.8 billion (approx. $4.03 million), but Nokia estimates that it will receive net proceeds of slightly above €2.5 billion when the transaction closes in the first quarter of 2016.
Uber and other companies were also in the race to acquire HERE at one point or another.
"With this step we complete the latest stage of Nokia's transformation,” said Rajeev Suri, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nokia. “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."
The coveted maps business is a major rival of Google Maps, mainly because it features a number of premium services not supported by the American giant. HERE is already used in 80% of in-car navigation systems, and more and more users choose this solution to avoid sending personal data to Google.
Audi, BMW and Daimler believe HERE represents the basis for new driver assist systems and ultimately 100% autonomous driving.