Nokia’s HERE mapping technology will soon be sold to a consortium of German automakers formed by BMW, Daimler, and Volkswagen AG, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday after getting information from people familiar with the matter.
The Finnish company is apparently asking $4 billion in return for its coveted maps business, which offers premium features and services not supported by Google, so the rival automakers basically had no choice but to join forces in unprecedented fashion.
Other companies and groups that showed interest in acquiring HERE at one point or another included Uber (it withdrew from the race a few weeks ago), and the U.K.’s Apax Partners.
Nokia maps can be found in approximately 80% of navigation systems in European and North American vehicles. They are also used at the University of Michigan’s simulated M City, which is designed to test and improve self-driving cars.
An agreement could be finalized as early as next week, with an official announcement coming around July 31st, insiders said.