Nokia to sell map business to German trio

Three of Germany’s premium carmakers have joined together to buy Nokia’s (NYSE:NOK) maps business, in a deal estimated at 2.5 billion euros.

BMW (ETR:BMW), Audi (ETR:NSU) and Mercedes will hold equal stakes in the business, HERE, and aim to use the locations services to develop self-driving cars in the future. The three companies have clubbed together to prevent the technology being used by rivals in Silicon Valley or China.

“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 Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche of Daimler.

On its website, Here stated that “no single carmaker can do it on its own”.

“The new ownership structure of Here will allow us to accelerate our strategy, further scale our business and fulfil our intent to become the leading location cloud company across industries,” said Here president Sean Fernback in a statement.

For Nokia, this marks another step in the company’s regeneration. The company has moved its focus away from mobile handsets to focus on its upcoming acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent.

Rajeev Suri, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nokia, said: “With this step we complete the latest stage of Nokia’s transformation. 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.”

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