Ride-sharing company Uber and Chinese search giant Baidu have teamed up to acquire Nokia’s Here Maps division for £2.2 billion. The partnership is the second of its kind, with Baidu investing £387 million in Uber late last year.
The two will look for an all-cash acquisition, but Uber and Baidu are not the only partners trying to acquire Here Maps. Tencent Holdings, NavInfo and EQT Partners have partnered as well, bringing a Chinese rivalry into the mix.
Other buyers include a consortium of German car manufacturers—including Audi, BMW and Daimler—along with Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo and Amazon all looking to take the mapping division off Nokia’s hands.
All of these buyers may mean a rise in the price of Here Maps, potentially surpassing £3 or £4 billion. Nokia plans to use the money to close the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent, which is acquired earlier this year for £10.7 billion.
Even though most of the US corporations listed last would be able to raise £3 billion alone, Nokia might be looking for a full cash acquisition, something Uber and Baidu can offer.
Uber would use Here Maps on its taxi service to offer driver navigation and customer mapping tools for selecting a route. It would save Uber millions in the long run, considering it currently pays a large amount of mapping licensing fees to Google.
For Baidu, it would also be a good move in the long term, since the search giant uses Here Maps already for international mapping outside of Mainland China. It might also help Baidu gain popularity outside of China for its services.
Nokia has not commented on the bids for its mapping division, although it has confirmed it plans to sell Here Maps.