The coalition of German carmakers — Audi, Daimler, and BMW — will acquire Nokia’s mapping unit, HERE, according to media reports.
The carmakers have reportedly agreed to pay about €2.5 billion ($2.71 billion), not quite the $3-4 billion figure mentioned in previous talks between the company and other buyers. Earlier in the month, the automakers had reportedly reached a hurdle in their negotiations with Nokia over the price and structure of the deal.
Other interested parties included Uber and China’s Baidu, and a group led by Chinese social network Tencent, though both dropped out of the race.
Already customers of Nokia’s mapping business, the automakers had an advantage over other bidders. HERE provides mapping data to about 80 percent of cars with in-dash navigation systems in North America and Europe, as Bloomberg notes. Nokia built out this business unit largely through its acquisition of Navteq Corp. for $8.1 billion in 2008.
A backbone of self-driving cars, mapping technology is one of the key components car makers are currently focusing as they — and even tech giant Google — are looking ahead at next wave of cars. Though much of the buzz has been around Google’s driverless car project, traditional automakers, including Tesla, have publicly discussed plans for self-driving car technology.
The deal is expected to close soon, and be announced possibly as early as July 31, according to the Wall Street Journal.