Nokia’s location services and mapping division has apparently been sold off much quicker than was expected. Receiving approval from regulators in Asia, Europe, and the United States was originally expected to push the actual completion of the deal into 2016, but the deal ended up completing this morning. Audi AG, the BMW Group, and Daimler AG have acquired Nokia’s HERE division for €2.55 billion ($2.8 billion), which makes this the second major business that Nokia has sold in the past year or two, the first one being the handset division it sold to Microsoft last year.
One of the bigger makers of maps and location services used in mobile phones and connected cars has now been taken over by a consortium of car makers. Today Nokia completed its sale of Here to Audi AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG for €2.55 billion ($2.8 billion). The deal was originally announced in August, pending regulatory approval, at an original price of €2.8 billion, “subject to certain purchase price adjustments.” In the event, those adjustments brought the price down by some €300,000. Moreover, the sale cleared its regulatory hurdles in the U.S., Europe and Asia faster than expected, so the sale has closed ahead of schedule (it was originally going to close in 2016). The deal puts a final period to a long-winded chapter over the future of the location services and mapping division, which remained a part of Nokia as the rest of its mobile handset business was sold to Microsoft in 2014, and never really grew to be a sizeable portion of Nokia’s revenues. Nevertheless, the rise of smartphones and connected cars have driven a large potential and actual market for location-based services, and Here, with its rich navigation and mapping data, is one of the biggest players in the space, so when it came on the market it generated a lot of interest.