The New York Times is reporting that Uber, the quickly growing app based alternative to taxis, has dropped out of negotiations for the multi-billion dollar acquisition of Nokia’s Oyj’s map business, makers of HERE Maps.
Winbeta had previously reported in May that Uber was joining with Chinese search engine giant Baidu to made an offer for HERE Maps as the bidding war was heating up. Now, the New York Times is reporting that according to three people with knowledge of the negotiations it looks like Uber has lost interest.
The three people also said that negotiations are now primarily between Nokia and a consortium of German automakers BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz.
The article goes on to say that there could be an announcement of the deal by August as the negotiations are focusing on price. After recently agreeing to purchase Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia is hoping to get at least $4 billion for the sale of its map business. The trio of German car makers may be trying to use the waning interest of other buyers as leverage to acquire the mapping business for less than that.
While Nokia Maps is not nearly as large as Google Maps, which Uber relies heavily on, Mark Scott and Mike Isaac of the New York Times note:
“Analysts said Here’s strength in the transportation sector would have helped Uber reduce its reliance on Google Maps and other services. A mapping tool built with Here’s know-how, for example, could have helped with services like Uber Pool, the company’s ride-sharing initiative that uses geospatial mapping data to pair riders with drivers.”
Uber’s loss of interest in acquiring Nokia’s map business might be due to a change in their overall strategy to become less reliant on Google Maps, as Winbeta also recently reported Uber’s acquisition of Microsoft’s own mapping data team. The New York Times additionally notes that Uber bought deCarta, a mapping software company based in San Jose, California, earlier this year.