Report: Uber Bidding $3B For Nokia’s Maps Service

After rumors earlier this year that Google was perhaps planning a ride-sharing service to rival Uber and Lyft, and that Uber was working on its own driverless cars, it comes as no surprise that Uber might be trying to disentangle itself from relying on Google’s mapping technology: A new report says the company may have bid up to $3 billion to acquire Nokia’s mapping services unit.

According to a report from the New York Times, Uber’s dependence on Google may change if its submitted bid for Here, the biggest competitor to Google Maps, is accepted.

Current owner Nokia announced last month it was considering off-loading the division, and is reportedly also fielding an offer from a group of German automakers — BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz — along with Chinese search engine Baidu, insiders told the NYT. A separate bid from a private equity firm is also said to be on the table, with Nokia expected to make a decision on the sale by the end of the month.

Though Google Maps has almost one billion mobile users, which is around 10 times the amount of Here’s users, Here has a big chunk of automobile mapping — it currently holds more than 80% of the global market share for built-in car navigation systems,.

Uber could use Here to boost services like UberPool, which pairs user data of riders with drivers, matching people up who are going the same way. Doing that quickly enough requires a lot of significant engineering power and plentiful mapping data, insiders explain to the NYT.

Uber Joins the Bidding for Here, Nokia’s Digital Mapping Service [New York Times]