Uber and car makers jockey for Nokia's 'HERE' maps – report
Who needs Google when you can have your own maps?
Transport's enfant terrible, Uber, has reportedly put in a bid to acquire Nokia's HERE mapping unit.
The New York Times spoke to an anonymous troika of insiders, who whispered that a bid of up to $3bn had been tabled.
Three billion simoleans wouldn't be a big payday for Nokia, which bought HERE for $8.1bn in 2007 but has struggled to turn a quid with it and in mid-April signalled a likely sale.
The Times says Uber's bid is battling a joint purchase by Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Chinese web biz Baidu.
HERE's a potential prize for all of the folks listed above as they contemplate autonomous vehicles, or clever traffic routing schemes. Google's own Maps give it an obvious and easy-to-access source of data for such efforts. Rivals wouldn't fancy having to send cheques to Google to get their own services rolling, making a splash for HERE potentially worth their while.
If Uber is indeed making a play for HERE, Google folks may not be entirely happy as in 2013 it pumped $258m into the company through its Google Ventures tentacle. ®