Uber Joins the Bidding War for Nokias Here Mapping Service

uber carouselThe competition to pick up Nokias Here mapping unit, which the Finnish company is seeking a new home for, is heating up with the news that ride-hailing app Uber has made a bid in an effort to strengthen its logistics business.

According to the New York Times, Ubers bid is an attempt to free itself from relying on Google Maps, and may be for up to $3bn (£1.9bn). The bid is competing with a rival offer from a consortium of German car manufacturers including BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi, who have teamed up with search engine provider Baidu for their bid.

A separate bid has been made by an unnamed private equity firm, and Heres recent deal with Facebook has fuelled speculation that the social network is considering a bid before Nokia announces its decision at the end of May.

The variety of firms involved in the battle for Here demonstrates the rising importance of digital mapping services, and the wide range of services they are put to use in. While Here has only a tenth of the users of Google Maps, it has more advanced automobile mapping, which car makers looking to expand into connected and driverless cars are no doubt keen to get their hands on.

For Uber, buying Here would represent access to an established digital mapping service that could provide rich data on traffic, location and more. It would enable the company to streamline elements like how drivers are matched to requests, as well as speeding up its growing delivery service.