Uber has reportedly joined the race for Nokia's HERE Maps business by submitting a bid of as much as $3 billion. According to a report from The New York Times, the private taxi service sees HERE as the perfect acquisition in its bid to transition towards becoming a logistics company.
Uber has made its fame by allowing customers to book taxis through its smartphone apps, but not without facing some high-profile issues. The acquisition of HERE is expected to be a possible first step in Uber becoming a logistics company with the goal being to "deliver people and things within cities as quickly as possible".
Last month, Nokia announced that they were entertaining offers for HERE, which was once considered a crucial business within the Finnish firm's arsenal. Since the announcement, rumors have abounded that potential suitors for HERE would include its chief rival - Google Maps - an automakers consortium - including BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Chinese search engine Baidu - and major companies such as Facebook and Microsoft.
While Google Maps has an estimated one billion mobile users - approximately 10 times the amount of HERE's smartphone users - Nokia's location division dominates in the field of automobile mapping and owns more than 80 percent of the built-in car navigation systems market. Both Google and Apple have struggled to establish themselves in this market with their own mapping services and HERE's dominance is considered to be the key reason that several parties are interested in the company.
Nokia is still considering bids and it's possible that the Finnish manufacturer will decide not to sell. If they do choose to accept an offer, it's expected that an announcement will be made by the end of May. Given that the company acquired Alcatel Lucent's networks business, it's likely that HERE will be sold to offset against the acquisition.
Source: New York Times