Uber, the ride-booking service, is bidding for Nokia's (NYSE:NOK) HERE mapping unit, according to a report in the New York Times, which cited unnamed sources. The report said Uber's bid could be as much as $3 billion. Previous reports on the price for the HERE unit have reportedly hovered around $2.2 billion.
Uber's bid would go up against one from a consortium of German automakers, including BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, according to multiple reports, including one from the Times and one from the Wall Street Journal. The car companies are teaming up with the Chinese search engine Baidu on the offer, the reports indicated. A separate bid from an undisclosed private equity firm has also been submitted, according to the NYT; Nokia is expected to announce the sale of HERE by the end of May.
Uber's bid is interesting because of its partnership with other technology companies that provide mapping data. In addition to Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) Maps service, Uber relies on data from Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and other companies' mapping services, as well as its own online information, the Times noted. Uber is also partly backed by Google's venture capital arm, but has made moves to free itself from relying on the search giant. Uber launched the Uber Advanced Technologies Center earlier this year in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University, and is working on mapping and autonomous vehicle technology. Article