It is official: Nokia has finally sold off its mapping business, HERE to a consortium of German carmakers as had been widely expected in the last few weeks.
German carmakers Daimler AG, Audi AG and the BMW Group have agreed with the Finnish company on a €2.8 billion deal that will see the three take charge of HERE which has a presence in at least 200 countries and is available in 50 languages.
HERE is crucial to the carmakers as it will be an integrated product in their car systems for navigation and with self-driving cars being looked at as the future of mobility, HERE’s intelligence will come in handy as well as other purposes. Both sides commit to HERE’s continued availability to everyone it was offering services to prior to the acquisition by the German trio. There are no details on the fate of HERE’s 6000+ strong workforce.
The deal, announced by both sides a few hours ago, leaves the Nokia Corporation with just two main arms, Nokia Networks and Nokia Technologies. The former is the subject of a merger with Alcatel-Lucent that is expected to be completed soon while the latter is Nokia’s vehicle for the connected future. It is the arm that has pioneered innovative products like Nokia’s latest virtual reality product, OZO and is expected to spearhead the Nokia brand’s return to electronic store shelves by designing mobile devices like the current N1 tablet and smartphones from late 2016 as well as developing applications like the Z launcher available for Android devices.
The deal is expected to be finalized by 2016.