Audi, BMW and Mercedes’ parent company Daimler have teamed up to buy HERE, Nokia’s maps business, as the German car giants face growing challenges from technology groups.
Nokia announced the €2.8 billion (£2 billion) deal on Monday morning after months of speculation surround a diverse group of bidders. As well as the German consortium, a joint bid between taxi-hailing app Uber and the Chinese search engine Baidu had been rumoured as had mapping company Navinfo.
Nokia had been expected to sell off HERE ever since Microsoft agreed to buy its mobile phones unit in 2013, with the Finnish company concentrating on its networks business. However, the sale price is significantly less than the $8.1 billion (£5.2 billion) Nokia paid for mapping business Navteq in 2008.
The car manufacturers see increasing competition from Google, which runs its own free mapping service and is developing driverless cars, and Uber, which is making owning a car less attractive for some people.
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