nokia-here

As The Wall Street Journal understands, three of Germany’s most notable car manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi, will be forming an alliance along with Chinese web services firm, Baidu, to bid for a controlling stake in Nokia‘s Here mapping division.

Said deal is understood to be worth “considerably more than €2 billion (RM8.09 billion)” with discussions already well underway. Sources close to the affair cite that a time length of around “two weeks” will be when a decision is expected to be made. The Finnish tech giant recently hinted its plans to offload Here, prompting said move(s) to purchase the unit – however, Nokia remains adamant in holding a minority stake.

While said (proposed) takeover may appear random (especially when one considers the rivalry between the big three), the move appears to be a consolidated one. Potential bidders, reportedly, include to prevent rival tech firms such as Apple, Google and Facebook Inc. from acquiring a vital piece of technology required for autonomous driving and in-car services.

“The greatest threat to the automobile industry would be if Google developed an operating system for self-driving cars and made it available free to everyone,” a source disclosed. “We need the map for the operating system in the cars.” Notable car manufacturers who employ Nokia’s mapping unit include BMW, Daimler, the Volkswagen Group, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan-Renault.