We all know that Nokia is exploring the sale of its HERE maps business as they are trying to focus on their wireless-network business. When Microsoft acquired Nokia’s Mobile division, they left HERE Maps business to Nokia. Nokia licenses HERE Maps data to companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Yahoo and most of the car makers. Since Nokia announced that they are exploring the sale of the division, HERE has been attracting interest from various companies and private-equity firms and Nokia is expecting more than 3 billion euros from the sale.
Bloomberg today reported that Uber is teaming up with Baidu and Apax Partners to pursue HERE Maps business. Another group, comprising China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd., NavInfo Co. and Swedish buyout firm EQT Partners AB, is also bidding for the unit. Surprisingly, Microsoft has also offered to buy a minority stake in HERE. When Steve Ballmer tried to acquire Nokia, Microsoft’s board didn’t allow him to acquire HERE business along with it. If it was done at that time, the price of HERE division would have been just around $1 – $2 billion. Going by the current trend, even a minority stake in HERE might cost around billion dollars. what do you think? Should Microsoft bid for HERE Maps data which is critical for many of their products?