For about a month now, Nokia has been spinning its wheels -- trying to unload its Here Maps business. But this week, Nokia's plodding Norse saga has become a bit more interesting. Reports suggest Uber -- the crowd-sourced cab company -- just tendered an uber-sized bid for Nokia's mapping wunderkind.
Is Uber's bid high enough to force competing bids -- including one from a convoy of German automakers -- off the twisty road to Here ownership? Or will the Germans put the pedal to the metal -- upping their ante for Here -- driving ever faster on the Autobahn towards Finland?
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers drive a hard bargain.
Today's humble blogwatcher is Stephen Glasskeys.
John Ribeiro doesn't want to depend on a search engine:
Uber Technologies has bid for Nokia's Here mapping business, in a bid to reduce its dependence on Google, according to a newspaper report.
Nokia said last month it was considering a possible divestment from Here as it reviewed strategic options for the business. MORE
The staff at Techworld bid higher:
[Uber] has bid as much as $3 billion for [Here, according to the The New York Times], citing people with knowledge of the offer. The bid is in competition with one from a consortium of German automakers...which also could have the backing of China's Baidu, according to the report. MORE
But Simon Sharwood is at a loss trying to explain Here's financial sheet:
Three billion simoleans wouldn't be a big payday for Nokia, which bought HERE for $8.1bn in 2007 but has struggled to [make money] with it.
If Uber is indeed making a play for HERE, Google folks may not be entirely happy as in 2013 it pumped $258m into the company through its Google Ventures tentacle. MORE
Then Maya Kosoff has a great -- no Uber -- business plan:
Nokia's mapping product Here has been a hot commodity this week.
Currently, Uber relies on Google Maps. But buying Here would allow the company to have its own mapping software and data, which would help Uber's central driving business, but also...UberFresh, its food delivery service, and UberPool, its carpooling service. MORE
Jan Fagernäs buys low, then waits to sell higher:
Super interesting development. With so many bidders...is now really the time to sell? MORE
Meanwhile, @MikeIsaac drives around in circles:
Uber relies on Google Maps. Google competes with Baidu. Baidu invests in Uber. Uber competes w/ Baidu for Nokia Here. MORE
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