Following several rumors and reports, Nokia has officially announced selling its HERE mapping business. The buyer is a German consortium consisting of Audi, BMW and Daimler that have agreed to pay €2.8 billion ($3.1 billion) as a move to obtain one of the best digital mapping services in the world. Each premium German marque will have an equal stake in HERE and have promised not to interfere in the operational business while the management will continue to be independent.
HERE will be transformed into a standalone company after the deal will be finalized in the first quarter of 2016, once the antitrust authorities will approve the transaction. Interestingly, Audi together with BMW and Daimler have announced they all plan to invite other investors to join HERE as an attempt to better compete with software giant Google. However, new partners won’t be added before the deal will be completed and it seems that General Motors has already expressed its interest in joining the consortium.
Regardless if new partners will be added, the German trio has promised to keep HERE an independent business with a separate CEO and the services will continue to be provided to customers who own products outside of the consortium, including automakers, Amazon, SAP, Microsoft and individual clients.