Bidding intensifies for Nokia's Here maps as Uber offers $3B

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2015
Whether or not Apple is still in the running to buy Nokia's Here, the digital mapping service will likely sell for more than $3 billion thanks to a bid made by transportation service Uber.




Uber has officially submitted its $3 billion offer for Nokia Here, sources familiar with the process reportedly indicated to The New York Times. The bid from Uber is said to be competing with one from a consortium made up of BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Baidu.

Not mentioned in the story is whether Apple is in the running. It was reported last month that Nokia was courting Apple in an effort to earn $3.2 billion for the sale of Here.

If Apple were to buy Nokia's Here for that asking price, it would be the largest acquisition in the company's history, eclipsing the $3 billion it spent on Beats last year.

The Here maps business has been a bright spot for Nokia as the company has struggled during its attempts to restructure as a networking company. Last quarter, the Here mapping division saw its profits increase by 20 percent to 162 million euros.

Others said to have shown interest in Nokia Here are Facebook and Microsoft. The Nokia maps business has more than 80 percent market share among vehicle built-in navigation systems.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    thewhitefalconthewhitefalcon Posts: 4,453member
    Let them have it. Not worth that much to Apple.
  • Reply 2 of 38
    schlackschlack Posts: 688member
    yeah, what would apple gain aside from people? better to take a fraction of that money and invest in their own mapping efforts.
  • Reply 3 of 38
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    The original article mentioned that a business consortium of European car manufacturers also really wants it because they see autonomous cars on the horizon and Nokia's 3D high resolution maps are seen as absolutely required and they don't want it to fall into the hands of a single company that might block them from using it. If Apple does not bid on this it might be seen as a signal that they are not building an autonomous self driving auto.

  • Reply 4 of 38
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    wtf.

     

    Uber doesn't even have $3 billion 




    They could borrow the money, or partner with some other entity. Nokia has also indicated that they might want to remain a partial stakeholder in their maps business. Also Uber is expected to have their IPO this year.

  • Reply 5 of 38
    mubailimubaili Posts: 388member
    well, Nokia bought the map operation back in 2007 for $8.1B. A $3B now would be a steal.
    Excerpt From Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navteq
    On 1 October, 2007, it was announced that Nokia would acquire NAVTEQ in a deal valued at an estimated US$8.1 billion (%u20AC5.7 billion). NAVTEQ shareholders approved the deal in December 2007. The European Commission in July 2008 ruled the deal did not violate antitrust rules clearing the way for closing the deal.
  • Reply 6 of 38
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,831member

    I wonder if Apple is interested in combining their Maps effort with HERE Maps. I would imagine it being an engineering nightmare to do so.

  • Reply 7 of 38
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,594member
    schlack wrote: »
    yeah, what would apple gain aside from people? better to take a fraction of that money and invest in their own mapping efforts.
    By owning Here Maps Apple would prevent others from not using Apple Maps. I guess. But it is a high price to pay simply to prevent a product's growth and use (and not very ?-esque), Apple would probably be much better off investing 3 billion+ into ?Maps.
  • Reply 8 of 38
    d95martyd95marty Posts: 1member
    The main value of Here should be the vast amounts of mapping data that has been collected by NAVTEQ over the last 30 years, since long before being acquired by Nokia.

    I'm not sure that the cost of collecting an equivalent set of data would amount to $3 billion, but a potential buyer will win calendar time over collecting it themselves. And, as mentioned in a previous comment, it would be a considerable disruption to some current customers of Here if Apple or some other actor intent on using the data in their own solutions without reselling it were to acquire Here. Both these should be factors in driving up the price of Here.

    Back when rumors held that Apple were to use TeleAtlas data in its mapping effort I got really worried that they didn't realize what they were up for. As we all know, they didn't (bye, bye Forstall...). When I worked with developing web based mapping solutions in the pre-Google Maps era, we originally used data from TeleAtlas, but opted to switch to NAVTEQ around 2004, since our analysis showed that the quality of NAVTEQ data was higher, at least here in Europe. That said, it didn't take long until the data quality of Google Maps was way higher than both the mentioned alternatives (bye, bye selling web based mapping solutions in competition with Google...).

    So, when Apple decided to go with TeleAtlas, they were set up for considerable headwind. I wonder how much money they have had to pour into improvement of the Apple Maps data quality since launch. By now Apple should know the mapping business well enough to use a realistic valuation if they will be bidding on Here.
  • Reply 9 of 38
    pujones1pujones1 Posts: 151member
    schlack wrote: »
    yeah, what would apple gain aside from people? better to take a fraction of that money and invest in their own mapping efforts.
    I guess you're right. I have to be honest though. I did want them to go for it. Every time I get wrong directions on Maps I get a little irritated and have to tell myself that it's going to get better soon. Google maps gets the location for this particular place wrong too though.
  • Reply 10 of 38
    satchmosatchmo Posts: 2,699member
    Recent improvements to Maps has made it a pretty good alternative to Google Maps.

    Rumour has it that Apple will be implementing public transit shortly, so the only outstanding feature would be some kind of StreetView.

    Does HERE have street views? If not, I'm not so sure it's worth 3 billion.
  • Reply 11 of 38
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post



    Let them have it. Not worth that much to Apple.

     

    Navteq, which is part of HERE, has huge value to someone like Apple. They're one of only two organizations to offer complete navigable digital maps of North America and Europe. 

  • Reply 12 of 38
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,005member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     



    They could borrow the money, or partner with some other entity. Nokia has also indicated that they might want to remain a partial stakeholder in their maps business. Also Uber is expected to have their IPO this year.




    So, they may never have the money... :D

     

    On the other hand, if Apple was remotely interested in bidding for this they could send a planeload of cash. Maybe $1 billion in cash instead of a promise would be well received.

  • Reply 13 of 38
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,276member
    Apple's improvement on their own map is going too slow! They need better data.
  • Reply 14 of 38
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,005member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by palegolas View Post



    Apple's improvement on their own map is going too slow! They need better data.



    Apple's probably doing as much as they are can at this point, but since alternatives such as Google and others are still available on iOS, it isn't critical that they act out of panic and overbid for a service that would represent an all-new Herculean effort to integrate into Apple Maps. Software doesn't write itself and throwing more programmers at the problem may not solve anything.

  • Reply 15 of 38
    penchantedpenchanted Posts: 1,070member

    Apple needs better raw  data and Here has that. They also have a lot of talent.

  • Reply 16 of 38
    applesauce007applesauce007 Posts: 1,607member
    I think Apple could use part of Nokia Here but not the whole thing. Nokia Here is involved in a lot of businesses that Apple is not interested in.

    I think Apple is already far along with it's own Maps initiative and I am not sure how the Nokia Here Cloud model would fit into Apple's existing infrastructure and Strategy. Perhaps they can partner with one of the consortiums and get a perpetual license for raw map data.

    Time will tell.
  • Reply 17 of 38
    leavingthebiggleavingthebigg Posts: 1,135member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    wtf.

     

    Uber doesn't even have $3 billion 




    Google is an investor in Über. And, if I remember correctly there were rumors a few months ago that Google was interested in purchasing Über. Maybe the DOJ and FTC should put the companies on notice that Google Maps has to be sold if Über buy Here from Nokia then Google buys Über.

  • Reply 18 of 38
    leavingthebiggleavingthebigg Posts: 1,135member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by paxman View Post





    By owning Here Maps Apple would prevent others from not using Apple Maps. I guess. But it is a high price to pay simply to prevent a product's growth and use (and not very ?-esque), Apple would probably be much better off investing 3 billion+ into ?Maps.



    I am guessing the US DOJ and FTC and EU Commission would vote to prevent Apple from buying Here since competition in mapping services would be decreased. 

  • Reply 19 of 38
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,451member

    Google is an investor in Über. And, if I remember correctly there were rumors a few months ago that Google was interested in purchasing Über. Maybe the DOJ and FTC should put the companies on notice that Google Maps has to be sold if Über buy Here from Nokia then Google buys Über.
    Google Ventures is the Uber investor, technically a separate company I believe and one of many investors. Also of note Uber bought mapping related company DeCarta a couple months back. That went largely unreported. I don't recall seeing anything about Google being interested in buying Uber.
  • Reply 20 of 38
    analogjackanalogjack Posts: 1,066member

    It's a shill bid from Uber, if Apple ends up buying they get a commission. 

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