Audi, BMW, Daimler officially buy Nokia Here maps in deal valued at $3.07B

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Nokia has confirmed it will sell its Here maps division to German carmakers Audi, BMW, and Daimler, in a deal valued at 2.8 billion euros, or $3.07 billion.

Pending regulatory approval, the takeover should be completed in the first quarter of 2016, Re/code reported. Each buyer will receive an equal stake, and in a press release the companies promised that Here's technology will remain accessible to other parties. Although Google Maps may be the world's best-known mapping platform, Here is used by other high-tech firms like Amazon, Microsoft, and Samsung, as well as a number of major carmakers.

The deal is meant to "secure the long-term availability" of Here as an open platform, and will allow Here's management and operations to remain independent, the release claimed.

Companies like Baidu and Uber were at one point rumored as potential buyers, but appear to have given up weeks ago. Recently, rumors also pegged the Audi/BMW/Daimler bid at $2.71 billion.

The carmakers may be interested not just in current in-car navigation options but in paving the way for self-driving vehicles, without having to turn to platforms developed by the likes of Apple or Google.

Google's efforts at developing a self-driving car platform have been well-publicized. Apple is simply known to be working on some sort of automotive project codenamed Titan, which — based on hires from companies like Chrysler, Tesla, and battery maker A123 — is at least believed to involve an electric car. A 2020 deadline has been suggested though, by which time any Apple product might be competing with self-driving vehicles from other manufacturers.

Apple and BMW have been in talks of their own, multiple reports have revealed. But it's been said that nothing has come from the talks yet, as BMW is apparently concerned about sharing its manufacturing expertise with Apple and becoming nothing more than a supplier.

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