Germany’s three premium carmakers will pay about 2.5 billion euros (US$2.8 billion) to buy Nokia’s maps business, Reuters reported.
Such location services are considered key to the future of self-driving cars.
BMW AG, Audi AG and Mercedes-Benz (a division of Daimler AG) will hold equal stakes in the business, known as HERE, joining in an effort to keep the assets away from internet firms such as Uber Technologies Inc. of Silicon Valley and China’s Baidu Inc. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. (00700.HK).
The deal has an enterprise value of 2.8 billion euros, including liabilities of nearly 300 million euros, for which Nokia will compensate the carmakers, the Finnish company said Monday.
The transaction is expected to close early next year.
The purchase allows carmakers to offer new premium features, such as autonomous driving, in their luxury cars, shaking up the pecking order between carmakers, their parts suppliers and software firms like Uber, Google Inc. or Apple Inc.
“With the joint acquisition of HERE, we want to secure the independence of this central service for all vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and customers in other industries,” said Dieter Zetsche, chief executive of Daimler, which invented the motor car in 1886.
But it is unclear how other HERE customers, including rival carmakers, may respond to Germany’s carmakers owning map technology, which many in the automotive, internet and logistics industries see as key to their own strategies, the report said.
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